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"We Will" is the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools motto for the 2018-19 school year. The goal is to show the school community what students, teachers and administrators 'will do' to make local schools the best they can be. 

The St. Tammany Parish School Board has unanimously approved a savings strategy designed to eliminate an $8.168 million deficit in the school system’s employee health care plan.

The vote came during the school board’s monthly meeting held Oct. 11 in Covington. The measure passed 12-0, with board members Rickey Hursey, Sharon Drucker and Michael Nation absent.

The savings strategy lists 11 areas where money could be saved, with the most significant amount coming via an increase in deductibles (from $500 to $800) for the more than 7,100 people who are on the health plan.

Additional savings would be realized via a new prescription clinical savings program; a new prescription drug contract; an increase in employee “out of pocket” co-insurance maximum payments from $2,000 to $2,750; and a decrease in the Medicare Advantage rate, among other areas.

During the board’s committee meeting as a whole earlier this month, insurance specialist Len Fontaine and St. Tammany Parish Schools Associate Superintendent Peter Jabbia said the savings strategy should save an estimated $8.768 million in 2019.

School system spokesperson Meredith Mendez said no one from the public requested time to speak on the insurance matter at the Oct. 11 meeting.

Parish to collect hazardous household waste 

St. Tammany Parish Government and Keep St. Tammany Beautiful will host a "Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day" from 8 a.m. until noon. on Nov. 17 at Fritchie Park in Slidell.

No vehicles larger than pickup trucks and no pull-behind trailers larger than 8-feet will be allowed at the collection site. No commercial waste will be allowed, and white goods will not be accepted. Wait times are common at the collection events, so people are asked to be patient.

Additional specifics on the event can be found online at www.keepsttammanybeautiful.org/events

Volunteers are needed. Email kstb@stpgov.org for information.

KSTB celebrates anniversary

Keep St. Tammany Beautiful celebrated the third anniversary of its official launch on Oct. 5, just one day after the group accepted certification of the St. Tammany Chapter’s national affiliation with Keep America Beautiful.

The chapter had to meet certain benchmarks to become an official national affiliate, and as such, will have support of the national organization, and will have access to their training and educational materials, as well as their operational tools. The local group also becomes eligible to apply for grant funding through KAB.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said KSTB has collected 232 tons of household hazardous waste and served 3,460 households at five separate collection days since it was formed. The group also has removed 265 tons of litter from parish roads in three years.

Art Association seeks board members

The St. Tammany Art Association is accepting nominations for at-large board members for 2019.

Potential board members should have a keen interest in the arts and be willing to assume a leadership role in assisting the STAA in promoting the arts in St. Tammany Parish. Candidates with professional legal and fundraising/development experience are especially welcomed. Potential board members need not be actual working artists.

To qualify, the nominee must be a current member of the St. Tammany Art Association. Members may nominate themselves.

Nominations may be submitted by email to theomullen@yahoo.com; via postal mail to the St. Tammany Art Association, 320 N. Columbia St. Covington, LA 70433; or hand delivered during business hours Tuesdays-Fridays from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.

Include the STAA board member application form when applying or making a nomination. The form can be found online at http://sttammanyartassociation.org/about/staff-and-boards/.

Nominations must be submitted no later than Oct. 24. The nominating committee will contact nominees by mid-November to schedule interviews. The committee then will recommend a slate and present it to the current board in December.

Nominees approved for board membership are done so by a simple majority vote by current board members before the annual meeting scheduled to be held in January. No nominations will be taken from the floor at the annual meeting.

Each board member serves a term of three years, with a limit of two consecutive terms.

For more information about the St. Tammany Art Association, go online to www.sttammanyartassociation.org.