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Superintendent Scott Devillier, left, presents Zachary High School senior Amelia Orlando a framed copy of her winning Christmas card design at the Zachary Community School Board meeting on Dec. 5, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by OLIVIA MCCLURE

The Zachary Community School Board spent much of its meeting Tuesday, its last of the year, recognizing several students and a retiring employee for their accomplishments.

First to be honored was Amelia Orlando, a Zachary High School senior who won the school district’s annual Christmas card design contest. About 200 cards bearing Orlando’s illustration will be mailed to elected officials and district supporters, said Superintendent Scott Devillier.

Joseph Howard, a Zachary High School senior, was recognized for spending this past summer as a page for state Rep. Kenny Havard. Howard also participates in the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council and recently won a Dixie Electric Membership Corporation essay contest.

Certificates were given to Northwestern Middle School boys cross-country team members, who won the 2017 state championship. Students on the team are Caleb Ackman, Cooper Ackman, Caleb Barfield, Will Beasley, Carson Dayton, Gabriel Ellis, Dewan Fabro, Jayke Fullerton, Todd Goudeau, Joshua Hogan, Rhen Langley, Cole Madison, Jason Odell, Francisco Rodriguez and Seth Savario. Their coach is David Onellion.

Also honored was Patricia “Gay” Bankston, who is retiring after 32 years of service to Zachary schools. Bankston started in 1985 as a kindergarten teacher at Northwestern Elementary School. She served as a librarian in the school system from 2003 to 2017.

After the meeting room cleared of the honorees and their families, board members tended to a few items of business. They approved a policy update that allows children to bring sunscreen to school and apply it. For younger students and those with disabilities, parents may give written permission for a school employee to help apply the sunscreen.

The board then approved updates to three policies dealing with tobacco use. The new verbiage forbids using cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and smoking devices such as electronic cigarettes on school properties and at school-sponsored functions.

Board members also:

  • Agreed to let the district get each of its schools a credit card from the Bank of Zachary. School employees will be able to use the cards for supplies, snacks and other items. Business manager John Musso said the cards will have a $2,500 purchasing limit, and bills will be sent to his office.
  • Gave board members Gaynell Young and Beth Kimmell permission to travel to a National School Boards Association conference in San Antonio in April 2018.
  • Approved the 2018-19 academic calendar. School will begin Aug. 9, 2018, and end May 22, 2019. Students will get two new days off: Nov. 16, 2018, and Feb. 18, 2019, which will be professional development days for teachers.
  • Received red poinsettias from officers of the Zachary High School FFA chapter. Katie Mestayer, the chapter president, also told the board that the group recently got a grant from the National FFA Organization to help revamp the garden at the Governor’s Mansion.

The next board meeting is set for Jan. 16.