Mandy Migues is a French immersion teacher at Paul Breaux Middle School and a radio host at KRVS. She is one of those people keeping the French language thriving in the community that she loves.
Mandy started at Paul Breaux three days before the schools closed in March and says that teaching in the past year has been tough, interesting and rewarding. You can tell she loves her work. She is connecting the students with their roots, and expanding their potential for the future — and enjoying every moment.
On Friday mornings you can hear her on the radio (KRVS) hosting the morning show, Bonjour Louisiane (avec Mandy) with her delightful French programming and music by Louisiana artists.
One conversation with Mandy will make you love this area a little bit more and realize that there are people, like her, who are completely invested in the future of this community.
What was your first job? When I was in middle school and high school my parents had a sporting goods/trophy and T-shirt printing business in Abbeville. I worked there quite a bit, after school folding T-shirts, counting trophies and running errands for the store. I had the best boss ever, my wonderful and amazing Mama.
Describe a typical day in your life. I wake up and get the coffee going, have coffee with my husband, Karl, and Henri, the Wonderpup. Then get ready for work. I try and get to my classroom early to have time to plan my day and get things ready for my students. I teach all day and then come home and try and relax for a little bit or work on my radio show. If it’s my turn to cook, I get dinner going. Karl and I have dinner together and then usually watch some TV (we have a few series we’re in the middle of right now). Then I try and get to bed early to do it all over again!
What advice would you give the younger you? Pay more attention to the older folks around you who speak French, ask them more questions, listen to their stories.
What event in your life most shaped who you are now? When I was 19, I attended the five-week immersion program at Université Ste-Anne in Nova Scotia to improve my French. That experience undoubtedly changed the entire trajectory of my life. Without my time at Ste-Anne I would not have applied for a CODOFIL scholarship to study in Belgium for a year, I would not know many of my most cherished friends, I would not be a French immersion teacher today.
What values do you live by? Be kind, take the time to listen to others, try your best and have fun!
What do you most appreciate? Spending time with people. It looks differently these days, but I really appreciate all the time Karl and I can spend with family and friends, virtually or at a distance.
What is your favorite journey? My favorite journey is the one I take every year with a new group of young people in my classroom.
Where is your favorite place to be alone? I really love being in the kitchen, cooking and listening to the radio.
What living figure most inspires you? Dolly Parton! She’s a national treasure.
What was the best advice you were ever given? “Just, try your best.” Wise words from my grandmother, Mom Shirley and my Mama.It really does apply to all situations.
What book would you tell everyone to read? "Le Petit Prince" in French or English.
What is the best thing about where you live? Louisiana is filled with beautiful scenery, beautiful heritage languages, delicious food and kind people. J’adore la Louisiane.
How do you "let the good times roll"? Pre-pandemic times meant dinners in restaurants, long visits with friends, live music shows and attending Saints games. These days it means delicious take-out from local restaurants, socially distanced outdoor visits with friends, virtual music shows and watching the Saints at home.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I think I always wanted to be a teacher. My mom said she always knew I would be a teacher, my favorite game to play was “school” with my little sister as my student.
What is your motto? Be nice!
How would you like to be remembered? As someone who loved her family and friends, tried her best and was kind to others.
What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself? “Just try your best!”
What three things are vital to BEing YOU? Karl, coffee & Henri the Wonderpup!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? In French I use alors frequently, in English I think it’s it’s "like."
What is your favorite word? Pamplemousse! It means grapefruit in French.
What do you collect? Cookbooks
What food could you live on for a month? Is it a whole genre of food or a specific thing? If it’s a whole cuisine, I’d say Mexican Food. If it’s just a specific thing, then the answer is cheeseburgers.
What would you change about yourself? I wish I was just a little bit taller, so I didn’t have to ask for help in getting things off the top shelf.
What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with? Hermione Granger — she loves school, is organized, always has a plan, and she gets stuff done.
Describe yourself in five words. Wife, daughter, teacher, friend, cook
What is your idea of happiness? Spending time with people (and pups) that I love.
What is your favorite movie? "The Karate Kid," Part I & Part II. Maybe Part II just a tiny bit more than Part I, but you must know the backstory in Part I to enjoy Part II to its fullest.
What music defines who you are? I love all kinds of music, especially music by Louisiana artists.
Who is your style icon? I have two: Lian Cheramie & Ashlee Michot.
What do you most regret? Why have regrets? They only make you worry.
What question do you wish I'd asked? What is the next place you would like to visit?
What would the answer be? We were planning a trip to Italy before the pandemic, hopefully that can happen sometime in the future.