May 7 was a banner night for the Live Oak school district as the superintendent presented two of three parishwide Student of the Year Awards to youths in the Watson area schools, and the Live Oak High principal was elevated to the position of supervisor of instruction for the entire parish.
Tracy McRae will start her new job next month, taking over for Joe Murphy, who was recently promoted to assistant superintendent.
As supervisor of instruction, McRae will be tasked with developing parish curricula, coordinating all standardized tests and overseeing school accountability when the system is graded by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Kellee Hennessy, who represents Live Oak on the Livingston Parish School Board, said McRae, a former teacher of advanced math, is an ideal fit for the role because she studies schools across the state and can break down their statistics to find out what has worked and where the Livingston system can improve.
“I’m a math person, so I love data,” McRae said in an interview shortly after being unanimously confirmed at Thursday night’s School Board meeting.
Three other parish educators also applied for the position, including Live Oak Middle Principal Ryan Hodges, Albany Upper Elementary Principal Deborah Tate and Southside Junior High Principal Carlos Williams.
Though Superintendent John Watson ultimately recommended McRae for the job, he praised all the applicants as excellent contenders.
Hennessy said Live Oak High had not yet appointed a new principal.
McRae also presented Live Oak High senior and Louisiana High School Student of the Year Victor Rushing to the board. He was commended for his leadership in school government, as the founder of a tutoring club, and for his achievements in various athletic, musical and other endeavors. In an awards ceremony preceding the meeting, he said he hopes to serve as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Tulane University with the ultimate goal of earning a law degree and entering politics.
Live Oak Elementary student Carson Jones and North Corbin Junior High student Emily Seighman also were recognized for being named parishwide Elementary School Student of the Year and Middle School Student of the Year, respectively. Emily was also a regional finalist in the state competition.
Each individual school’s Student of the Year was invited to attend the May 7 award ceremony. Assistant Superintendent Rick Wentzel praised the group as strong-willed future doctors, lawyers and teachers who seek out more challenges and never give up.
He challenged the students, who have already demonstrated individual achievement, to focus their time and talent on helping those around them and striving to improve society as a whole.
The individual school winners are: Albany Middle (fifth grade), Abrielle Ochsner; Denham Springs Elementary, Carson Pittman; Doyle Elementary, Madelyn White; Eastside Elementary, Bryce Onellion; French Settlement Elementary, Alicia Stanga; Freshwater Elementary, Hayden Hand; Frost (fifth grade), Alexa Ardoin; Gray’s Creek Elementary, Nicholas Pendleton; Holden (fifth grade), Luke Lebourgeois; Juban Parc Elementary, Ethan Quebodeaux; Levi Milton Elementary, Shane Easley; Lewis Vincent Elementary, Cameron Cockerham; Live Oak Elementary, Carson Jones; Maurepas (fifth grade), Gavin Reine; North Corbin Elementary, Kierra Barrera; North Live Oak Elementary, Sophie Kelly; Northside Elementary, Kate Price; Seventh Ward Elementary, Elise McElroy; South Fork Elementary, Brady Forbes; South Live Oak Elementary, Breelyn Voivedich; South Walker Elementary, Anna Hardison; Southside Elementary, Haley Hoover; Springfield Middle (fifth grade), Matthew Larpenter; Walker Elementary, Rita Lind; Albany Middle (eighth grade), Haley Vicknair; Denham Springs Junior High, Collin Bueche; Doyle High, Mayce Balfantz; French Settlement Junior High, Melanie Tircuit; Frost (eighth grade), Micheal Diez; and Holden (eighth grade), Alyssa Blount.
Also, Juban Parc Junior High, Codie Hicks; Live Oak Middle, Sara Anne Martin; Maurepas (eighth grade), Ava Borskey; North Corbin Junior High, Emily Seighman; Southside Junior High, Collin Turner; Springfield Middle, Andrew Larpenter; Westside Junior High, Cameron Mangus; Albany High, Jacob Pettigrew; Denham Springs High, Morgan Rea; Doyle High, Cheyenne Reyes; Holden High, Megan Lanoy; Live Oak High, Victor Rushing; Maurepas (12th grade), Alexis Ferguson; Springfield High, Christen Wall; Walker High, Ryan Miller.
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