Decorating the mansion’s halls _lowres

Advocate staff photo by Stephanie Warren -- Talented Visual Arts Students at St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy were honored by First Lady Supriya Jindal with an invitation to decorate Christmas ornaments for the Governor’s Mansion trees. In front row from left are fourth grade student Xavier Webber, fourth grade student Demond George, fourth grade student Jesus Gonzales, third grade student Ja’Myria Robertson, third grade student, second grade student Christopher Johnson, third grade student James Causey and fourth grade student Antione Baker. Pictured in middle row from left are third grade student La’keria Martin, third grade student Christopher Brumfield,Jr., fifth grade student Meosha Martin, fifth grade student Jakiya Johnson, fifth grade student Darrick Johnson, fifth grade student Mya Martin, fourth grade student Caden Harvey, fourth grade student Marcus Higginbothan, fifth grade student Da’mya Taylor, and fifth grade student Ken Jackson. Not pictured is third grade student Dedrico Robinson. Pictured in back row from left are Jo’el Givens, M.Ed., Talented Visual Arts Educator, Shannon Scott, Co-Principal SHATA, Donna Jackson, Co-Principal SHATA, and Donna Reno, M.Ed., Chief of Innovation St Helena Schools.

Visual arts students at St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy were invited by Supriya Jindal to decorate Christmas ornaments for trees at the Governor’s Mansion.

The students’ ornaments represented a combination of Louisiana’s rich culture and many sports and the joy of the holiday season, school officials said.

Jo’el Givens, talented arts teacher, said she is proud her students’ work is getting displayed after only several classes of working with the students.

“This is just the beginning of showcasing the exceptional talent of St. Helena Parish,” Givens said.

St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy is part of the Turnaround Arts: Louisiana program. Turnaround Arts uses arts education as a tool to help turn around struggling schools.

Led by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, together with local partners, the program brings high-quality arts education resources to the school and helps it use those resources to improve attendance, parent engagement, student motivation and more, according to St. Helena Parish Superintendent Kelli Joseph.