Link To PSYM Articles:

Tia Coleman PSYM Camper Recognition – December 10, 2015

PSYM Camper Commits to TCU – October 30, 2015

Bastrop WR Isaiah Graham presented with All American Bowl Jersey-October 22, 2015

– Isaiah Graham’s Bio

PSYM Celebrates Academic Excellence – September 23 ,2015

Morehouse Parish Teacher of the Year Awards Received – June 4, 2015

PSYMer Gone Too Soon- Kenton Norman

Ouachita family mourns loss of Kenton Norman – May 25, 2015

Remembering Kenton Norman/ – May 25, 2015

PSYM 11th Annual Multi-Sports Camp – June 18, 2014

PSYMer Jamari Payne’s News Headlines:

Rueben Randle Hosts Second Annual Football Camp – June 14, 2014

Rueben Randle helps launch L.I.F.E. Foundation – May 13, 2014

Bastrop’s Own, Rueben Randle Making Bastropians Proud – March 3, 2014

BHS Senior Andrew Watson Recognized for Recycling Program – February 7, 2014

PSYMer – Rodney Anthony (Resumes Football Career) – March 14, 2012

Talent Fashion Show to be held March 17, 2012

Dual Enrollment Program Offer Pupils Jumpstart on Career Plans – February 17, 2012

Teachers Voice Worries Over School’s Climate – December 15, 2011

Program Preps Students for College Rigors, College Life – December 15, 2011

BHS Students Community Service Class Spready Joy to Seniors – December 15, 2011

Bastrop Freshmen Tackling Assignments with Ipads

•Students Shower Soldiers with Appreciation

•Students can’t learn if they aren’t enrolled

•School system hindered by freeze in state funds

•Mandated programs cover student, personnel programs

•Substitute teacher workshop well attended

•Summer test scores now available

•System revises student absentee policies

•Parents can monitor child’s progress online

•Kenny Natt, Changing Indian Basketball

•PSYM Founder Kenny Natt to Coach India National Team

Kenny Natt: Basketball in India is ready for the first steps in a long journey

Kenny Natt, Pete Gaudet, and Zak Penwell hold clinic for coaches at Junior Nationals

•Parents Learn LEAP Results

•School Board Discusses Consolidation

•Test Scores Mixed Bag for Morehouse Parish Schools

•Transfer Students Must be Tested

•PSYM Educates Students on Fire Safety for Fire Prevention Month

•Bastrop High Honor Students (2nd 6 weeks)

•Morehouse School Board to Vote on Pay Raise

•Reading Program Reaping Dividends

•Test Scores Spring 2010

•Parents Share Concerns about New Bus Routes

•Morehouse School System Holds Dropout Prevention Summit

•PSYM Receives Funding from Entergy Foundation for After School Program

•One of PSYM’s Own To Compete for Miss Louisiana

•PSYM Founder Kenny Natt

•BHS Grad Rate 10 Points Higher Than State

•Parish Schools Receive 2008-09 Accountability Results & Performance Scores

•Bastrop Student Wins SuddenLink

•Deadline Set for Morehouse Parish Students

•School Board Committee Agenda Full

•MCIO Gives Awards for Attendance

•Delta Readers Celebrate Success with Reading Program

•Pastors Lend Aid to Bullying Program

•Parents Students Getting Prepared for Tests

•Reading is Fun

•Local Selected as Finalist for Student of the Year

•Dunn Reflects on Service

•New School Board Members Take Oath in Bastrop

•Coach Levoie Emanual’s Lessons Appreciated Later in Life

•Thank You Coach E.

•Students Faculty prevents Bullying


PSYM Receives Funding from Entergy Foundation for After School Program

July 29, 2009

David Little, customer service manager of Entergy presents Pelican State Youth Movement President, Larry Robinson with check for afterschool program.

One of PSYM’s Own To Compete for Miss Louisiana!

I remember Raven mostly due to an incident where she nearly lost one of her manicured fingernails receiving a pass during one of the camp scrimmages. She wasn’t pannicked by the blood, nor was she grimmacing from pain. I was amazed that she really didn’t want to stop to get medical attention. In fact, she appeared quite embarassed by the injury and the attention that it brought. However, after I insisted, she agreed and I took her to the Medlife paramedics who quickly cleaned and bandaged her up. No sooner than they were done, she ran back to the court to continue playing.

I recalll that she wasn’t one of the more vocal campers, a bit on the scrawny side but had a great attitude and lots of hustle. With those attributes, I figured she had potential to be a good if not great basketball player. Never in my wildest did it occur that she would become a beauty queen(not that she wasn’t as cute as a button back then).

PSYM is not claiming that our organization is the reason for Raven’s success, nor the reason for the person she has become. But she does exemplify the type of young adult that we hope all of our campers and youth involved in our programs will become. Our organization was founded to reach the youth of Morehouse parish and have a positive impact and make a difference in their lives. To make them better students, athletes, and individuals in general.

We at Pelican State Youth Movement take special pride and joy in discovering her accomplishment and success four years later. On behalf of Pelican State Youth Movement, we offer our congratulations to Raven and the Hollins family and send our encouragement for her to continue on the path.

Memoir by Karl Natt, Camp Instructor


PSYM Founder Kenny Natt

NBA head coaches don’t just pace the sidelines to get the best view of the greatest basketball players in the world. They’re leaders of 30 teams working toward the ultimate goal. With 28 years of professional basketball experience, Kenny Natt finally earned his opportunity when he was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings in December. As a former player, scout and assistant coach, he’s seen the game from an array of perspectives.

“It’s all intertwined,” Natt said of how working in different capacities help him as head coach. “I’ve been in their shoes as a player. I’ve been an administrator. And I’ve done basketball operations work in the office like Geoff (Petrie).”
“But this is what I really have a passion to do now,” Natt continued. “To teach what I’ve learned out here on the floor.” Like all coaches, Natt brings a unique leadership style. Having served under disciplined motivators such as Jerry Sloan and Mike Brown, he shares their philosophies. But the Kings new head coach also tries to emphasize an optimistic approach. “More positive reinforcement, less criticism,” Natt said about keeping confidence levels high. “It’s all about positive reinforcement here and trying to get in their mind that we all make these mistakes, but we can’t stop fighting. We have to keep fighting and get better.”
Part of the team’s improvement that he can control is done behind the scenes. From reviewing film to preparing specific game plans, coaches constantly gain more insight into the nuances of the League. “I study the main guys of other teams,” Natt said. “I know we have Dwyane Wade and I’ve been here long enough to know you focus primarily on those guys, but I realize at the same time, Dwayne Wade is going to get his. What we can’t have is the x-factor guys making the big difference. Those are the things that kill you most times.”

Head coaches know collaboration is a key component toward building a strong team foundation. With four assistant coaches under his wing, Natt understands the importance of utilizing their basketball knowledge, too. The coach’s staff has been an extension of every coaching situation that I’ve been involved with,” Natt said. “We make decisions as a unit, not as two guys or three guys. We sit down and we decide. I want their input.” In addition, communication is a vital. Constant dialogue between player and coach is necessary for any success on the court. “I want them to come in and make a suggestion,” Natt said. “Sometimes they may see something that I missed. From that standpoint, I work from their input because I can’t see everything all the time.”

Kings power forward Jason Thompson agrees, exchange between coach and player is essential. But in just his first year, Thompson knows the lines of communication between veterans and coaches and rookies and coaches differ. “It may be different for a rookie,” Thompson said. “Obviously I should be doing more learning than talking. But I think for you to have a say, you have to earn respect from your teammates and your coaches.”

Like Natt, eight-time NBA All-Star Ray Allen has seen plenty in his career. He’s seen lows while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Supersonics and the ultimate high with the Boston Celtics. From his experience, Allen has gained valuable insight into what coaching methods are successful. In his opinion, the basis is simple — knowledge. “A coaching staff has to be very diligent in what they do,” Allen said after the Celtics made their recent Sacramento appearance. “They have to know the whole league. They have to know every player.”

Though the Natt-led Kings have a lot of work to do to gain the success Allen has reached, Kevin Martin appreciates the pedigree his new head coach brings to the team. “I think every coach has their own style,” Martin said. “Coach Natt has been (in) the NBA for 28 years and he’s been on some great teams, so of course he’s going to take his styles that he learned with Utah and Cleveland and try it here.” While Sloan and Brown’s coaching methodologies differ from those that Martin’s experienced in Sacramento, he believes there are universal traits that make effective head coaches. They can relate to their players on and off the court and they are somebody that doesn’t get too tense during the game and has confidence in his players,” Martin explained.

Leading the team as it strives to improve, Natt’s aware his position isn’t easy. But with nearly three decades of experience and the influence of successful mentors, he’s confident and optimistic he can help the Kings rise.


Congratulations Kenny!!!! We’re Very Proud!!!!



Parents Share Concern About New Bus Routes

In the Saturday edition of the Bastrop Daily Enterprise, Morehouse Parish School Superintendent Tom Thrower stated that they were still having some bussing issues. Monday morning a large number of parents concerned about their children walking to new bus stops, went to the school board office to file complaints. In speaking to LaRhonda Moore she stated that her children had to walk down Leavell Avenue, where there are no sidewalks and cross several intersections just to catch a bus. In the past years, the bus has always stopped close by where there are seven children who catch the same bus and had a neighbors carport to stand under if the weather was bad.

“Mr. Thrower said he would drive the bus route and see the distance we are discussing,” said Moore, “This is putting our children’s lives in danger when you tell them to walk down the street. A lot of people don’t even stop at the intersections.” Marilyn Fitch Burrell said her grandchildren had been picked up for years at the same location, now this year they too must walk down Commerce Street to Division Street to catch their bus.

“It is hard to understand when the bus goes in about the same route as always, but now they cannot stop where they once did. I just don’t understand how the school board expects us to put our children’s lives at stake,” said Burrell. “They told me it was a software system problem.” One parent said that the transportation department told them that they were to cut down on the number of bus stops.

Lakesha Rabun said she has a big problem with her five year old daughter walking the distance she was told for her bus stop. “What if it is raining? What are these little ones supposed to do? Most of the parents work, and when the kids are waiting for the bus ride, parents are leaving for work. What happens if they somehow miss the bus? Or what if something happened to them? This is a serious problem, it is our children.” Rabun did say that in past years her children have never had a problem with the school bus.

In speaking to Supt. Thrower he stated that the school board and the transportation department are working hard to correct any problems. If you have any concerns about bus stops or routes, call 281.5784 or 283.3465.


Deadline Set for Morehouse Parish Students

Posted Jul 15, 2010

Parents who did not receive a letter from the Morehouse Parish School Board indicating the school that their children will be attending in the 2010-2011 school year must come in to the Child Welfare & Attendance Office and provide two proofs of residence. If this is not done before August 23, 2010 the child will not be allowed to attend class at the beginning of school.

If the address is different from the address on the letter received from the Morehouse Parish School Board parents will also need to come to the Child Welfare and Attendance Office and verify the new address. The only exceptions are Bastrop High, Morehouse Magnet and Bastrop Learning Academy (Options 3 and Alternative) students do not have to verify.

Proofs of Residence that may be used are as follows:

-Filed Homestead Exemption

-Mortgage Documents or Property Deed

-Rental/Lease Agreement

-Utility Bill – Gas, Water or Electric – (current within two months) ONLY one utility bill may be submitted

-Automobile registration/insurance

-Food Stamp Certification

-Medicare or Medicaid information

-Insurance Policy for house or apartment

-Certified Copy of filed Petition for custody

-Driver’s License (not more than two months since issued date)

-Voter’s Registration (not more than two months since issued date)

Please call Stacy Hammonds at 283.3467 with any questions.


Reading Is Fun!!

Students at H.V. Adams Elementary School in Bastrop enjoyed picnic lunches and some good books outdoors in Thursday’s Buddy Reading Culminating Activity.

Morehouse School System Holds Dropout Prevention Summit

Posted June 18, 2010

Tom Thrower, Superintendent of Morehouse Parish School System welcomed those in attendance and the meeting was turned over to John Warner Smith, CEO of Education’s Next Horizon. Smith gave some examples of why students do drop out of school, including lack of discipline, to help support family, lack of positive relationship, no respect of authority, and also judgmental or unfair treatment from school officials. Smith was impressed to hear that Morehouse Parish has three active truancy officers.

Ralph Davenport of MPS gave a presentation on support and intervention strategies the school system can implement. Community leaders spent part of the morning in sessions to discuss strategies and specific action steps to increase graduation rates in Morehouse Parish school “We have implemented a number of intervention initiatives, particularly in the areas of early detection and truancy, for students who are at risk of dropping out, and it’s clearly making a difference. But to improve and sustain our efforts, we need the involvement of all community leaders,” said Thrower. “I am really encouraged by our progress and optimistic that we’ll improve graduation rates in Morehouse Parish. Our quality of life depends on it.”

A dropout profile was passed around to everyone, showing that the graduation rate has increased from 2006-2007 from 56.1 to 2008-2009 to 71.5 percent; number of dropouts in 2006-07 was 168, in 2007-08 the number was 189, for 2008-09 the number decreased to 173. The number of male dropouts has increased since 2006-07 when it was 90 students, in 2008-09 106 males dropped out of school, the female dropouts showed 2006-07 a total of 78, in 2008-09 the number was down to 67. All students with truancy flags has increased from 2006-07 when the number was 323; to 2008-09 the number is 785.

Ralph Davenport of MPS gave a presentation on support and intervention strategies the school system can implement. Community leaders spent part of the morning in sessions to discuss strategies and specific action steps to increase graduation rates in Morehouse Parish school “We have implemented a number of intervention initiatives, particularly in the areas of early detection and truancy, for students who are at risk of dropping out, and it’s clearly making a difference. But to improve and sustain our efforts, we need the involvement of all community leaders,” said Thrower. “I am really encouraged by our progress and optimistic that we’ll improve graduation rates in Morehouse Parish. Our quality of life depends on it.”

A dropout profile was passed around to everyone, showing that the graduation rate has increased from 2006-2007 from 56.1 to 2008-2009 to 71.5 percent; number of dropouts in 2006-07 was 168, in 2007-08 the number was 189, for 2008-09 the number decreased to 173. The number of male dropouts has increased since 2006-07 when it was 90 students, in 2008-09 106 males dropped out of school, the female dropouts showed 2006-07 a total of 78, in 2008-09 the number was down to 67. All students with truancy flags has increased from 2006-07 when the number was 323; to 2008-09 the number is 785.


MCIO Gives Awards for Attendance

On time every day for school pays off at the MCIO Head Start. Regular attendance to school equals academic success. So to promote attendance, MCIO Head Start Board of Directors, offers the Perfect Attendance Rewards Program.Every month the student with the perfect attendance is recognized with a certificate. His or her name is then placed in the big prized drawing for that month to receive a bicycle. This is done each month, one bike per center.

Board President Billy Rabon acknowledges that some factors are beyond students’ control when it comes to attendance, but Head Start tries to instill into children at an early age the importance of regular attendance with the hope that it will carry forward when they enter public school.

Winning bicycles for perfect attendance at MCIO Head Start are Zuin Anderson, Jakyla Willis, Jamari Ward and JeMarion Hawkins. Also pictured are Billy Rabon, Board President, Ethel Robinson, Head Start Director, and Terry Matthews, Assistant Director/Education Supervisor.

BHS Grad Rate 10 Points Higher Than State

Earlier this week, the Louisiana State Department of Education released school performance scores and graduation rates statewide. In those reports, the data shows that students entering the 9th grade in Morehouse Parish would face difficulty graduating from high school in four years.

This information is somewhat misleading. Morehouse Parish School Superintendent Tom Thrower stated the most recent graduation rate available (2006-2007) from the Louisiana Department of Education for Bastrop High School is 76.3 percent.

The Louisiana Department of Education has not released graduation rates for high schools since that time. The graduation rate for the state during that same time was 66.3 percent.

Thrower stated that in calculating the graduation rate, the state included not only the ninth grade students enrolled at Bastrop High School (263 students) and Delta High School (30 students), but also students attending the Career Center (173 students) who were working on a Pre-GED and were not pursuing a high school diploma. Students were mandated by the Louisiana State Department of Education to enter the Pre-GED program if they failed to meet the promotional standards to enter high school and were 16 years old.

“In an attempt to change how we calculate the graduation rate statewide, I attended the October 14 committee meetings of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in Baton Rouge,” said Thrower. “I spoke to the State Superintendent, Accountability Commis-sion Chairman and addressed the BESE High School Redesign Committee. This issue received favorable comments as to the validity to the calculation of graduation rates. The State Superintendent stated that the Accountability Commission would discuss this at their next meeting. I accepted an invitation from him to attend the next Accountability Commission meeting to discuss these concerns.”

The graduation rate is a national and state concern, Thrower stated. The Morehouse Parish School System will outline the steps that they are taking to increase the graduation rate at Bastrop High School in the near future.


There’s still work to do!!!

Parish schools receive 2008-09 accountability results, performance scores

Morehouse Parish School Superintendent Tom Thrower announced that the 2008-2009 accountability results and school performance scores for the Morehouse Parish Schools were released today. Eight out of twelve Morehouse Parish schools showed an increase in their school performance scores with three of the eight meeting or exceeding the state established growth target. Oak Hill Elementary showed tremendous growth from a score of 64.2 to 83.3. Carver Elementary reflected more than a 10 point growth from a score of 70.7 to 81.3. Morehouse Magnet School, identified as a high performing school, met their growth target moving from a score of 128.5 to 130.5.

Bastrop High School, Morehouse Jr. High, Beekman Jr. High, Eastside Elementary, and Pine Grove elementary experienced some growth from the previous year but fell short of their established state accountability growth target. Four schools did not show growth from the previous year. The district performance score decreased from 82.3 to 81.2 (-1.1), calculated using the most current year of test data (2008-2009) and one prior year of attendance and dropout data (2007-2008).

Thrower said in an effort to improve Morehouse Parish schools, the district has lowered the pupil/teacher ratio. Currently each school has an average class size of 21:1 or below.

Ten new teachers have been hired this year. Interventionist and transition teachers have been hired throughout the parish to provide additional assistance to students at risk in reading and math in the elementary schools. After school tutoring will be offered at several school sites. Morehouse Parish is currently using Benchmarking and other assessment tools to identify individual student weaknesses in reading and math in order to provide interventions for each student. Thrower said he is letting each individual school decide which way to handle the tutoring and interventionist teachers.

The district has also increased technology to be used in the classroom and added additional minutes to the instructional school day. The district will continue in its second year of realignment of personnel with a greater focus on grade level content. Thrower states that Morehouse Parish schools will continue to provide the best instruction possible and focus on student achievement.

Here is a breakdown of schools with an increase in growth:

Bastrop High School 2.3 points, Beekman 0.4 points, Carver 10.6 points, East Side 2.7 points, Magnet 2.0 points, MJH 6.2 points, Oak Hill 19.1 points, Pine Grove 2.4 points.

Schools with a decline in growth:

H. V. Adams -1.7 points, Cherry Ridge -5.2 points, Delta -0.7 points, South Side -1.6 points

Performance Labels: One Star (60.0 – 79.9)

H. V. Adams 68.3, Cherry Ridge 72.0, East Side 72.6, Morehouse Jr. High 72.2, Southside 72.1

Performance Labels: Two Stars (80.0 – -99.9)

Bastrop High 86.2, Beekman 99.8, Carver 82.0, Delta Jr. High 85.4, Oak Hill 80.8, Pine Grove 82.1

Performance Labels: Four Stars ( 120.09- 139.9)

Morehouse Magnet 129.2

Growth Targets–the following schools achieved their growth target:

Carver, Morehouse Magnet, Oak Hill

Growth Targets– the following schools did not achieve their growth target:

H. V. Adams, BHS, MJH, Beekman, Cherry Ridge, Delta, East Side, Pine Grove and South Side


Keeping Our Kids in School

Ending Truancy Key to Lower Crime Rate

By Ashley Adams

It’s no secret that the success rate for students graduating on time or at all has decreased significantly in recent years. Taking that into consideration with statistics on how truant students have a high percentage of not graduating, the Morehouse Parish School Board and the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office have joined together to increase the number of truancy officers and put children back in school.

“We have a national crisis in terms of the number of dropouts and the number of students that never get a high school diploma,” Ralph Davenport, Morehouse Parish School System’s Child Welfare and Attendance supervisor, said. “Research tends to indicate the number one predictor of future dropout is school attendance. There’s a big effort to increase attendance and therefore the graduation rate.”

He said the Picard Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette came up with some statistics and facts about the graduation rates. In Morehouse, the graduation rate has fluctuated over the last few years. In 2004, the rate was 55.7 percent. This means that that percentage is who graduated. For example, one hundred students are in the senior class and only about 55 graduate. There is another 45 that did not. The rate went up in 2005 to 59 percent graduating. The next year showed a slight decrease of 58.3 percent. In 2007, the rate decreased to 56.1 percent.

Davenport said if the trend continues by the year 2014, Morehouse will only have 40 percent graduating. The state wants to set a goal of 80 percent graduating by 2014. Truancy officers can help with that.

Although a truancy officer cannot ensure students will graduate on time because of their grades, they can make sure they are in school when they are supposed to be.

Sheriff Mike Tubbs said there is “a big push from the state.” “This is why we have increased the number of truancy officers. In the past, we weren’t able to focus on [everything. Focus was just on the big problems.] By reorganizing, we are going to track attendance daily,” Davenport said. “We‘re not going to tolerate unexcused absences. When a student accumulates three unexcused absences or tardies, [which are counted at the beginning and end of the day,] their parent has to come for a conference.”

When a student receives five unexcused absences or tardies, a report will be sent to the district attorney’s office. A program called Families In Need of Services, or FINS, has been set up at the district attorney’s office. This department will contact parents and guardians to offer services to the families.

Davenport said if this does not help the matter, the students will be brought into court. The child can be put on probation and both the parent and the child can be in trouble. Community service is one option for dealing with this matter. “In addition to tracking attendance whenever a parent doesn’t show up [for a conference], they can expect a visit from a truancy officer,” Davenport said. “If a child is excessively absent, [the truancy officers] can go to the house and escort them to the classroom.”

For the 2009 – 2010 school year, there will be one school resource officer and two truancy officers. Last year, there was only one truancy officer and a resource officer. “We are using some stimulus funds,” Davenport said. He also said there’s a deal between local law enforcement, the City of Bastrop and the School Board to get these officers in the school. The district attorney’s office is aiding in other ways. “We would like to have a separate truancy court,” he said. “We would be able to focus much more attention [on these cases].”

Tubbs is also asking that the public help the school system and the truancy officers out by notifying them when they see or hear about a child that should be in school but is not. “We want it to be successful,” he said. “If we don’t [succeed], we are willing to go another direction and get attendance up.”

The three officers that will be present throughout the schools in Morehouse this year are Lt. Quickman Trotter, a school resource officer; Dep. Eddie Garrett, a truancy officer; and Dep. Sara Hawkins, a truancy officer.

Trotter has had 18 years of experience with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office and has worked as a school resource officer for 10 of those years. “My job as a school resource officer is to try to be a deterrent from any danger coming in the school and bridge the gap between law enforcement and kids,” he said. Hawkins, who has worked for 13 years at the sheriff’s office, agreed.

“I’m excited about being in the schools to bridge the gap. Hopefully, we can establish a relationship so they don’t think we’re after them,” the newest recruit said.
Garrett was a truancy officer last year and has 13 years experience with the sheriff’s office. He feels this is a serious problem in Morehouse Parish. “It looks like some parents and kids [are not worried about this]. What kids don’t realize is without an education they don’t have a future.”

The next step is planning a community meeting to establish a mentoring program. Davenport said a judge can assign these children a mentor to stick with and help them to move further in their education.


Bastrop Student Wins Suddenlink Scholarship

By Ashley Adams

June 30, 2009

(L to R) Det. Capt. Curtis Stephenson; Joyce Winston, Raven’s grandmother; Raven Hollins; Suddenlink Bastrop System manager Roland Miers; Bastrop Police Chief Downey Black and former Bastrop Mayor Clarence Hawkins were in attendance as Miers awarded Hollins with a $500 Suddenlink Communications Scholarship at the Suddenlink Cable Center in Bastrop Monday, June 29.

Recent Bastrop High School graduate Raven S. Hollins has been named recipient of a $500 Suddenlink Communications Scholarship. Hollins recently graduated from Bastrop High with a 3.97 grade point average. She is a teen court member, peer, freshman mentor, kindergarten and elementary school tutor, interpreter for the deaf and hearing impaired, a rehab assistant in elderly and nursing homes and a youth church announcer.

She has donated her time and talents to the Children’s Miracle Network, March of Dimes, Race for a Cure and STD Awareness and has participated in canned food, health, book and toy drives as well as Morehouse Cleanup and Keep Monroe Beautiful.

Hollins will attend Xavier University in New Orleans in the fall to major in biology and Spanish. She plans on having a career as a pediatrician. This summer, she is attending school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

“We congratulate Raven Hollins and wish all of our local 2009 graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors,” Roland Miers, Suddenlink Communications Bastrop System manager, said. “Our community outreach programs reflect a belief that communities are built from kids up. Suddenlink Communications is proud to provide schools in our service area with cable television and internet services, making excellent media services, cutting-edge technology and broadband connectivity available to local students and teachers.”

Hollins is the first in this area to receive the Suddenlink scholarship. “Thank you all so much for providing the scholarship,” she said.


School Board Committee Agenda Full

By Staff reports

Bastrop Daily Enterprise

Jun 30, 2009

The Morehouse Parish School Board will discuss several items during their committee meetings tonight. The board will meet to have the Building, Properties and Transportation, Finance, and Student Affairs and Personnel committee meetings at 5:15 p.m. today at the Morehouse Resource Center.

Board member and chairperson Jeff Churchwell will call the Building, Properties and Transportation Committee meeting to order to discuss the six agenda items.

Superintendent Tom Thrower requested that Harvey Hall, who is a representative with Johnson Controls, give a report on the energy savings program. Thrower will then discuss the SOS projects.

Otis Brooks, who is a representative for the Morehouse Parish Educational Center, will be given the floor to request the use of the property owned by the School Board located at 718 South Washington.

The final three agenda items for this committee were requested by Thrower and will be presented by him. He will discuss the status of the old historic Bastrop High School property, the contracted janitorial services and the lawn care of School Board properties.

Lisa Chain, board member and chairperson, will call the Finance Committee to order for its four agenda items. Thrower requested three of the items. Renee Hinton will present the first, which is to consider a recommendation regarding the renewal of property insurance policy with the inclusion of boiler and machinery coverage.

Thrower’s other two requested items will be presented by him. He will ask the board to consider a recommendation regarding a revision to the secretarial/clerical salary schedule and the addition of a CWA data entry clerk position. The other item is to consider the appointment of the School Board representatives to the sales tax and use commission.

The final item for the Finance Committee was requested and will be presented by Hinton. She is asking the board to consider the approval of the financial statement for the general fund and lunch fund for May 2009.

The final committee to meet will be the Student Affairs and Personnel Committee, which will be called to order by board member and chairperson Sylvia Reese.

There are three items on the agenda. The first was requested by Mrs. Pirtle and will be presented by Mr. Nevala. They will give the board a report regarding a corrective action plan on special education discipline.

Thrower requested and will present a revision to the 2009 – 2010 school calendar for the board to consider.

The final item will be presented by Sharon Rambo. She asked to speak to the board regarding employees having a right to representation, a bidding violation and LSA-R.S. 42:7 on the School Board’s agenda.

The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. today at the resource center.


Test Scores Spring 2010

The Spring 2010 school performance scores were released Thursday by the state with Morehouse Parish schools showing a one-half growth and a one-half decline, with three schools showing significant growth. Those schools are H. V. Adams, Pine Grove Elementary and South Side Elementary. This test score is from the LEAP, ILEAP and GEE, that were given in the spring of 2010.

Superintendent of Schools Tom Thrower said he was personally not pleased, and there is a place for improvement. “They can do better. We are doing a lot of good things and they will continue to improve.”

Hazel Sellers said that the elementary students, those in kindergarten through third grade are monitored every three weeks. The teachers use the Success Maker program for students in fourth and fifth grade. This program can show a students progress and where that student needs help.

Thrower praised the principals and faculty at Pine Grove and at H. V. Adams for using the particular programs to help each student do their best.

With all the data driven equipment, the students will have mini LEAP and ILEAP test in October and again in February, preparing them for the real test. This gives teachers the opportunity to work with individual students or small groups of students in areas that they may show a weakness.

Thrower stated that this year, the first month the number of suspensions district-wide was down, compared to last year. He also noted that the district performance score last year was at 81.2 per cent and this year it is at 80.4 per cent, just a small decline.

Thrower said, “I am not pleased, but I am committed to improve.”

Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek said in a press release Thursday that improvement state-wide is significant, although not all goals are being met. The overall performance of Louisiana public schools continues its gradual improvement while the number of schools considered failing is on the decline, according to figures released Thursday by state education officials.

School and district performance and growth scores, calculated on factors including student performance on standardized tests, attendance and dropout rates, were released at a news conference in Baton Rouge. During the conference, state Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek said the improvement is significant, although not all goals are being met.

For instance, the state was shooting for an overall improvement of 5.7 points in its “growth score,” but the actual increase was 3.1 points. And the state is still far from a goal set when the school accountability program, which includes the performance scores, was established in the late 1990s: Get every school to a score of 100 or higher in the complex point system.

A score of 100 would mean a majority of students are performing at the “basic” level — defined as having “the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for the next level of schooling” — according to the state education department.

Despite still being behind in that goal, Pastorek was upbeat.

In 2010, for instance, there are 43 of the state’s 1,279 public schools — or 3.4 percent of the total — with a performance score below 60, currently the minimum score required to avoid the failing or “Academically Unacceptable” label. In 1999, there were 388 below that score.

In Morehouse Parish the schools rated as follows: Morehouse Magnet School 129.2; Beekman Jr. High 100.3; Pine Grove Elementary 87.0; Bastrop High School 86.4; Oak Hill Elementary 81.4; Delta Jr. High 80.6; Morehouse Jr. High School 75.6; South Side elementary 73.9; and Henry V. Adams Elementary 73.5.

Meanwhile, the number of schools statewide reaching the score of 100 went from 153 in 1999 to 361 last year and 423 in the latest figures. Still, Pastorek noted, most schools still aren’t reaching the goal. “One of the things that we’re heavily focused on at the state level now is: How many schools are meeting that 100 target,” Pastorek said.

Pastorek noted other points of good news in Thursday’s statistics, including:

•The performance gap that shows low-income and African-American students scoring lower than more affluent or white students narrowed. For example, the department said that, for black students, the achievement gap with white students in English Language Arts has narrowed by 10.6 percentage points, from 33.7 in 1999, to 23.1 in 2010. In math, the gap has narrowed by 11.3 points, from 37.9 in 1999, to 26.6 points in 2010.

•Louisiana’s graduation rates have risen from 66.6 percent in 2009 to 67.4 percent in 2010.


Reading Program Reaping Dividends

A program implemented to give young students better reading skills is reaping dividends in Morehouse Parish schools. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills – DIBELS – program is mandated by the Louisiana Department of Education, designed to chart reading skills for students in grades Kindergarden through third grade.

At the beginning of each school year, students are tested to determine their ability to read and to comprehend what they’ve read. Based on those results, students are placed into one of three groups: Benchmark, strategic or intensive. Students who score strategic or intenstive are then broken into groups of less than six to receive specialized instruction for 30 minutes each day from their teacher, a DIBELS interventionist and a paraprofessional.

This is the second year the interventionist and paraprofessionals have been part of the program.

“We found that some of the teachers didn’t really buy into” the specialized instruction needed for students who don’t achieve benchmark status, said Hazel Sellers, elementary curriculum supervisor for the Morehouse Parish Schools. “With the work the interventionsts and paraprofessoinals do to supplement what the classroom teachers, the students get a great deal of individual instruction.”

Students are tested every three weeks to determine if they’re absorbing the material and improving in their ability to read and comprehend. Between the fall and spring semesters, if they show enough improvement the students are moved from one group to the next.

Scores for students in the program are beginning to show improvements after two full years of DIBELS instruction. For example, students in the second grade for the 2010-2011 school year are now in their third year of the program. The number of students achieving benchmark status – meaning they are reading and comprehending on their appropriate grade level – has doubled from Kindergarten to first grade.

“We’re beginning to see the results,” Sellers said. “We expect their to be an improvement in iLEAP scores this year and a greater increase in 2011-2012.”


Students, Faculty Prevent Bullying

Before the Louisiana Legislature approved a bill this year directing school districts across the state to implement programs in efforts to prevent bullying, administrators with the Morehouse Parish School System were ahead of the curve.

Ralph Davenport, child welfare and attendance supervisor, received preliminary certification this summer in a program used around the world to identify and prevent instances of student bullying.

During the fall semester, Davenport has trained administrators at each school throughout the school system. Each school administrator, in turn, forms committees of faculty, students and parents on each campus to identify and prevent instances of bullying.

The system being implemented, Davenport says, has been developed over the past 30 years by Norwegian physiologist Dr. Dan Olweus, international recognized for his research on bullying.

“Dr. Olweus is recognized around the world as an authority on bullying,” Davenport said. “The studies he’s done since 1983 are driven and supported by data, and his program has proven successful time and time again.”

Once the administrators – principals, assistant principals and other staff – have received the training, they “redeliver” the program, as Davenport stated, to other faculty and students. Some schools have used the home room setting as a method of informing students about the program, others have brought the entire student body together for an assembly to outline the programs goals.

Rene Fonte is principal at Morehouse Junior High. He said the program is vital because it can help create an enviroment where students feel safe.

“In our assembly, we told the students when they are bullied to report it to an adult on campus, so that student can be referred and the student who did the bullying can be addressed,” Fonte said. The junior high level, Fonte said, “… is a rough age for students, and we want to do all we can to create an atmosphere where they feel secure and aren’t threatened by other students.”

On Thursday morning, all students in the school system will complete a comprehensive questionnaire about instances of bullying, and that data will be sent to an independent third-party which will score each school and the district as a whole. From there, plans to prevent bullying will be designed for each school and the entire school system.

“The scores will show them where they stack up against other schools in the nation, in the district and will outline specific programs for each school,” Davenport said.

As an example, Davenport says students in elementary schools aren’t as likely to be targets of cyber – or online – bullying as students at the junior high and high school level.

In late January or early February, Davenport said the system will host a community meeting, inviting parents and the public to learn more about the program. Invited guest speakers are 4th District Court Judge Sharon Marcham, who handles juvenile matters for the court, and 4th District Attorney Jerry Jones.

“As important as it is for the faculty and students to get involved, the community as a whole needs to take part as well,” Davenport said. “We hope this meeting will make the community aware of the problem and the solution we’re trying to offer.”

For more information, contact Davenport by calling 282.2166.


PSYM Educates Students on Fire Safety for Fire Prevention Month

October 2010

Darria Davenport along with PSYM president Larry Robinson, Fire Chief, Eric Montgomery and Karl Natt, make presentation to HV Adams Elementary school students in observation of Fire Prevention Month.

Karl Natt, a Bastrop & Morehouse parish native now resides in Charlotte, NC, and is employed by The Hartford insurance company. Seeing the benefits of the program, Karl presented the idea to the Pelican State Youth Movement organization where he devotes countless hours and volunteers as financials director and webmaster. He saw it as an opportunity for PSYM to continue to fulfill its mission to: To better prepare our youth for meeting the many challenges faced in their everyday lives, while also enhancing the overall development of our PSYM community as a whole.

Therefore Darria along with Phyllis Wooten organized the event with HV Adams elementary school principal, Marilyn Johnson-Taylor to present to about 90 kindergarten and 1st graders. The students were very attentive and learned the finer points of fire prevention and safety and earned their shiny junior fire marshal helmets.

The Hartford organized the Junior Fire Marshal Program in 1946. Since then, over 110 million kids have completed their life-saving curriculum. “You hope that the kids hearing this presentation would never have to use what they’ve learned here today, but our hope is that they will remember it in the event their family is the unfortunate victims of a fire” says Natt. “Kids have brains like sponges and will probably remember this lesson and know what to do in the event of a fire if their parents don’t”.

“We plan to offer the Junior Fire Marshal Program curriculum to all the elementary schools in Morehouse parish” “It has shown that it does save lives.”


Delta Readers Celebrate Success with Reading Program

Bill King presented gift cards to DeNiya Sanders, Izack Reed and Arlana Miller at Friday’s Delta D.I.B.E.L.S. celebration.

By Staff Reports

February 19, 2011
BASTROP — The teachers and staff at Delta Jr. High have committed themselves and have reason to celebrate. Delta held its first annual “D.I.B.E.L.S. Celebration Assembly” Friday, Feb. 18 in the Mustang auditorium. Seventy-five students were recognized and received awards for achieving their mid-year reading goals.

Currently, over 50 percent of Delta’s K-3 student body are on target with their reading goals, and that number is expected to grow even more by the end of the year testing.

Students who had met their goals had their names entered into a drawing for gift cards donated by Bill King, owner of King’s Landscaping and Delta alumni. Izack Reed won a $10 gift card, Arlana Miller won a $20 gift card and DeNiya Sanders won a $50 gift card and a copy of the book, Green Eggs and Ham.

This is the third year that the D.I.B.E.L.S. (Dynamic Indicators of Beginning Early Literacy Skills) has been implemented in all elementary schools in Morehouse Parish and second year for on-site ELA (English language arts)interventionists.

Students are screened three times a year by a district team. All students identified as strategic or intensive receive differentiated interventions for 30 minutes daily in a small group setting. Classroom teachers, ELA interventionists, and paraprofessionals team together and lead each intervention group. Progress Monitoring is done every three weeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention and make adjustments and new groupings as needed.

“Delta Junior High, as well as all other Morehouse Parish schools, will not settle with the minimum,” said ELA Interventionist Rebecca Freeland. “There is a difference between school effectiveness and educational excellence.

“Effective schools aren’t the final answer, but being effective is definitely a move in the right direction and gives Delta the creditability it needs to move on with an agenda of creating more educational excellence. As a by-product, Delta is producing students who can and enjoy reading,” Freeland concluded.


Pastors Lend Aid to Bullying Program

A group of Morehouse Parish pastors are joining with the parish school system to raise awareness of a program promoting bullying awareness.

The group joined students at Morehouse Junior High on Thursday, literally going door to door to place posters in classrooms that make students aware of both the problems and potential solutions. Eighth-graders from Kimberly Wilhite’s social studies class worked with the pastors putting up the posters.

Earlier in the school year, the Community Ministry Group recognized the faculty at H.V. Adams and Pine Grove elementary schools for significant improvements in their LEAP scores. When the system started the bullying prevention program, the pastors adopted it as well.

“If this is something they want to focus on, then we’ll help them with it,” said the Rev. Donald DeJohnette.

Child welfare and attendance supervisor Ralph Davenport received training for the program this summer. During the fall semester, Davenport trained administrators at each school. Those teams then “redelivered” the program to faculty, students and parents on each campus on how to be aware of and prevent bullying. Before Christmas, students completed a survey about instances of bullying. That data was sent to a third-party administrator that scored the district as a whole and each school individually. That information led to specific plans being developed for each school.

Morehouse Junior High principal Rene Fonte said he believes the program will pay dividends.

“The program puts the problem and solutions right there in front of them,” Fonte said. “But number 1 is that we’ve let them know there are adults at each school they can talk to about it and that those adults will help them work through it.”


Parents, Students Getting Prepared for Tests

February 16, 2011
Bastrop, La.

Parents have the power to motivate their children to succeed in school, Dr. Montrell Greene told a large audience at the Bastrop Municipal Center last night.

The Morehouse Parish School System sponsored the district-wide parent meeting through the Title 1 Parental Involvement Program in preparation for standardized testing to be held in April.

Greene is the CEO of Empowerment 360, a motivational speaker and the youngest person to be appointed school superintendent in Mississippi’s history. “There’s always room for improvement no matter where we are in dealing with our boys and girls,” said Greene. “I trust that all of you are here to be part of the solution, to help our boys and girls move to another level.”

Greene said that parents are crucial to students’ success within the school district. Having a background in music, he gave a vocal performance of Wind Beneath My Wings in appreciation of the parents who attended the meeting. The key to student success, he said, is for parents to provide motivation to their children and to help them understand the correlation between school work and success in life. He cited statistics that bear this out.

“When we take education out of the picture, options are taken out of the picture,” he said. “We need to do a better job of helping our children understand that their future is at stake.”

Greene said as the father of two daughters, he knows how many challenges both parents and children face, particularly in the Internet Age. Parents, as the “greatest influencer” in a child’s life, should know their child well enough to be aware of how they are doing in school. Parents should also communicate with school faculty on a regular basis, and be mindful of the basics the child should know. “You don’t have to know algebraic equations to help a child with math,” he said. “If you just simply say, ‘Where’s your math homework?’, you’re helping with math. Because it makes the statement that math is important.”

Parents can work as a coach for their children, help them set goals, and change their environment in simple ways such as turning off the TV. “We can plant dreams in our children because they don’t even know what to dream about sometimes,” he said. “Why get involved? Because we’re the most important people in our child’s life.”

Fourth and eighth grade students will take the LEAP Phase 1 on March 22 and Phase 2 from April 11-14. Tenth and eleventh grade students will take the GEE Phase 1 on March 22 and Phase 2 from April 11-14. Grades 3,5,6, and 7 will take the iLEAP from April 11-14. Grades 4,8,10,11,12 will take the LAA 2 from April 11-15. First and second graders will take the IOWA from April 27-29.

The state calculates a District Performance Score (DPS) for each school district based on the most recent year of assessment data and the prior year’s attendance, dropout and graduation rate. The Morehouse school district has a DPS of 80.4 for 2009-2010.

The state calculates a growth school performance score based on the most recent assessment data from LEAP, iLEAP, LAA 1 and LAA 2 and the prior year’s attendance, dropout and graduation index data. Each school receives a Growth School Performance score based on the most recent assessment data from LEAP, iLEAP, LAA 1 and LAA 2 and the prior year’s attendance, dropout and graduation index data. Each school receives a growth target that represents the amount of progress it must make every year to reach the state’s 2014 goal of 120. The data shows H.V. Adams and Pine Grove met their growth targets in 2009-2010 while Delta Junior declined. The growth targets for 2011 on a two to 10 -point scale are Bastrop High 8.6, Beekman 4.7, Cherry Ridge 10, Delta 9.1, H.V. Adams 10, Morehouse Junior 10, Morehouse Magnet 2, Oak Hill 9, Pine Grove 7.5 and South Side 10.

Testing resources can be found at the Louisiana Department of Education Web site,



Local Selected as Finalist for Student of the Year

Morehouse Schools Superintendent Tom Thrower with Clair Marshall, Morehouse Parish School’s eighth grade Student of the Year.
February 16, 2011
Bastrop, La.

Claire Elizabeth Marshall, an eighth grader from Morehouse Parish, was selected as a regional finalist in the state’s annual Students of the Year competition.

Marshall, the daughter of Dr. Katherine Adcock of Mer Rouge and Glenn Marshall of Ontario, Canada, was also named fifth grade Morehouse Parish Student of the Year in 2008.

Marshall is an honor student at Morehouse Magnet School and a softball player for Morehouse Middle School. She is a past softball and basketball player for Beekman Jr. High School, an active participant in the Rose Youth Theater and a volunteer with the Morehouse Humane Society. Marshall attends Grace Baptist Church in Bastrop, where she is actively involved with the youth.

The Louisiana Students of the Year selected include one fifth, eighth and twelth grader from each of the state’s six regions. They represent public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools across Louisiana. Marshall, along with the other finalists, will attend an awards ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge on March 3. At that time, the state Students of the Year winners from each grade will be announced.


Dunn Reflects On Service

Loe Dunn was named dean of the Bastrop Campus of the Louisiana Technical College in 2009.
January 5, 2011
Bastrop, La.

For the first time in 20 years, Loe Dunn didn’t have anyplace to go on the first Tuesday of the month. Dunn did not seek re-election last to the seat she held for five terms on the Morehouse Parish School Board.

An educator for 30 years, Dunn now serves as dean of the Louisiana Technical College Bastrop Campus. Working for what used to be “the vo-tech” is the only full-time job she’s had since graduating from Northeast Louisiana University. “I had a chance to go to work for a chemical company in Swartz, but I chose this because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students,” Dunn said.

Making a difference with students appears to have been a decision Dunn made long before college. As a fifth grader at Union School in Mer Rouge, she often missed recess to help other students improve their reading skills.

Wanting to create a positive environment for students also moved her to first seek a seat on the School Board. Dunn said the late Lee Loche began grooming her for political office many years ago. Loche wanted her to seek a seat on the Morehouse Parish Police Jury at the time. “He saw the importance of developing young leaders,” Dunn said. “There were several of us who had monthly meetings to discuss issues in the community.” When it came time to qualify for the election, Dunn said she “tricked him” and qualified instead for a seat on the School Board.

“The makeup of the jury at that time, I didn’t feel, was being effective. So I qualified instead for School Board,” Dunn said. Asked how Loche took the news, she continued saying with a smile, “My campaign headquarters was at his office.”

What she feels is the greatest accomplishment the board realized in her years of service is addressing the needs of system’s physical plants. Through the volunteers who served on the Save Our Schools committee, the board was three times able to win voter approval for tax packages to fund school improvements.

“Starting with Michael Faulk and with Richard Hartley and (Tom) Thrower, we were able to provide better facilities for students,” Dunn said. “And we were able to begin a maintenance program, which you have to have to take care of your schools.”

The greatest regret Dunn has been tempered somewhat by improvements in pay for teachers and support personnel. Still, she feels, additional work is needed.

A shift that began several years ago to emphasize instruction for performance testing is something Dunn feels is regrettable. “With what the state tells us we have to do now, it doesn’t allow the local systems and teachers to do the thing needed to help students develop,” Dunn said. “Teachers are the best at assessing where students are and where they need help. But they don’t have the freedom to do those things as they used to.”

She hopes the incoming board – six new members with Jeff Churchwell being the only member with previous experience – can learn the value of working together amongst themselves and with the administration to create better opportunities for students. Staying in constant contact with constituents is vital to learning what they expect from the school system.

“They also need to learn to follow the facts,” Dunn said. “A lot of times someone will call with something they’ve heard or an opinion about the something someone told them about the superintendent or administration. Opinion is one thing. That’s why they need to follow the facts.”


New School Board Members Take Oath in Bastrop

January 5, 2011
Bastrop, La.
What a month ago was scheduled to be a brief meeting of the newly elected Morehouse Parish School Board was anything but.

Six new members of the seven-seat panel took their oaths of office Tuesday night and waded into an agenda superintendent Tom Thrower said included items that needed immediate action.

At the board’s last scheduled meeting in December, then incoming member Ricky D. Smith expressed a desire for the January agenda to allow new board take their oaths, allow the election of officers and committee assignments by the newly elected president and adjourn pending a special meeting.

Thrower told the members a date change for in-service training, requests to use buses for field trips and a Louisiana Department of Education recommendation on the system’s policy on security for standardized testing required immediate attention.

Smith’s questioning began before the agenda was approved. Each January and June, the board supervises selection of members of a court-ordered committee to oversee professional screening. After board attorney Steve Katz explained the procedure, Smith – who earned a law degree in 2004 and has taken the bar exam unsuccessfully six times – said he wanted to review the court order. The item was removed from the agenda.

Smith also questioned elementary curriculum supervisor Helen Sellers about the merits of requests to use buses for field trips. Board president Jeff Churchwell explained the previous board implemented a checks and balances system that requires teachers and supervisors to prove their is educational merit to leaving the campus. The board unanimously approved the requests.

Testing coordinator Cathy Yeldell informed board members that legislation approved last year allows any resident of the parish to file a complaint about irregularities they suspect may have occurred during state-mandated standardized testing. Smith extensively questioned Yeldell about other changes to the system’s testing policy.

She told him the changes added nothing new to the document, but were simply suggestions from the state on how the information could be better presented. After offering the motion to approve the changes, Smith then voted against the motion.


Bastrop High Honors Students

February 18, 2011
Bastrop, La.

Second Six Weeks

Bastrop High School principal Stacey Pullen has released the school’s honor students for the second six-week grading period.

Principal’s List

Ninth Grade: Tyra Lashay Evans

Tenth Grade: Leanna Farrar, Taylor Nicole Nelson, September Shanek Rhodes

Twelfth Grade: Bobbie Denise Green, Caitlyn J. Jordan, Christopher Mitchell, Destavius Washington, Kiya Keriye Wheeler.

Honor Roll

Ninth Grade: Zaccheaus Anderson, Kagan Andrew Berry, Mark Allen Goodman, Kristen Savannah Grissom, Thuong Ho, Maverick Chase Jaggers, Cortavius Sentrez Johnson, Brittany Denay Lee, Lester Lee, Kadidra Mason, Dominque Minnieweather, Jacob Patrick Pickett, Colten Wayne Putnam, Kyle Michelle Sledge, Alisha Misean Thompson, Kendarius Jermaine Williams

Tenth Grade: Tyler James Bayless, Cassi Jasmin Canada, Caden Brice Cantrell, Zachary Ty Cantrell, Kennedy Edwards, Lyeissha Ravett Evans, Traderrick Tremaine Ford, Elena Danielle Greely, Kaylee Lenae Gross, Shacarra Jimmerson, Michael Anthony Little, Chrstin Marie Lowery, Carlos Deandra Shaw

Eleventh Grade: Kelli Nicole Clingen, Amanda Prysilla Coomans, Kristian John Davis, Ashlea Nychole Day, Denzel Lee Devall, Raven Latrice Doaty, Khassie Fitzgerald, Ailania Freeman, Danica Vittoria Hobbs, Elliott Glenn McClinton, Danisha Nicole Quinn, Ditavious Ridgell, Troydarius Mandele Rogers, Hannah Elaine Shipley, Javonte Ramone Williams

Twelfth Grade: Michael Antonio Allen, Tori Ellen Andrews, Gabriel Denise Broadway, Elizabeth Jeanette Butler, Kaleshia Kashay Carter, Chelsea Brooke Chapman, Paige Dorian Coleman, Bridget Lynn Cook, Jasmine Labria Davis, Shaterra Maquise Douglas, Catherine Celeste Downs, Jalene Elizabeth Downs, Jeremy Ryan Eldridge, Takesha Lashay Gipson, Tiffanie Paige Goldsby, James Austin Graves, Linda Ann Hall, Laquan Tshawn Hampton, Dakota Shane Hawkins, Kacie Ellen Hobson, Darius Marquis Holmes, Shena Marie Hudson, Jacoby Lee King, Carli Alise Lusby, Mercedes Jean Mansfield, Cayce Marie McMillan, Justine Wayne MicMillan, Karoline Elizabeth Murry, Melanie Parker, Courtney Cherell Pates, Marty Alan Perkins, Kelbie Bobbette Reynolds, Jarvis Quintez Richmond, Jackie Robinson, Darvin Slater, Rikayla Lynece Stokes, Ashley Marshae Taylor, Joseph Connor Truelove, Lilomaiava SammyVaai, Alyssa Kelsly Wilkerson, Jared Brian Willis, Tiara Shawnice Wills, Andreana Dorchelle Wilson, Rhea Hope Young

Honorable Mention

Ninth Grade: Julianna Katherine Akers, Jennifer Joyce Andrews, Christian Paige Bennett, Kiyana Breisha Brooks, Halie Nicole Bulloch, Ambria ashuntaee Coleman, Tenise Semone Davenport, Temer Donell Davis, Tab Gentry, Ashley Christine George, Ruth Elizabeth God, Caitlyn Michelle Goodman, Brandon Scott Hampton, Lemicah Travun Harris, Meredith Nicole Hickman, Timothy Devon Holley, Kyra B. Hudson, Breuana Hutchison, Antenesia Luella Jimmerson, Ellen Rena, Johnson, Jordan Atkins, Jones, Sophronia Celeste Jones, Markeith Defetcheo King, Xavier Kenterron Latting, Lederick Davon Lewis, Ariel Hope Malone, Makenzie Neely Mardis, Johnnie Lee Marsaw, Deshuna Nashae McDaniel, Desire Latice McHenry, Katherin Leighann Merrill, Jamecia Montgomery, Aubry Kalin Moore, Marvin Mario Moor, Shakela Sharae Moore, Chauncey Alexandria Oilve, Arkameya Rena Paige, Julien Parrino, Amanda Faye Patrick, Sherika Marsha Payton, Jonathan Perkins, Shymiesha Peterson, Mikyia Lanae Porter, Shanqueshia Quinn, Chad Thornton Rawls, Haylen Madison Reed, Tyler Matthew Reynolds, Logan Paige Roan, Ashley Zhane Robinson, Rodrick Isaiah Robinson, Tyisha Nicole Scott, Elizabeth Sueann Stephens, Tracy Aron Trim, Cohath Goshen Washington, Kayla Leann Weeks, Deshanquenek Wheeler, Emilymarie Williams, James Milton Wills

Tenth Grade: Cori Allen Andrews, John Conner Blevins, Jacob Emile Bradbury, Brittany Taylor Bryan, Katajma Burrell, Janna Breanne Cook, Landon Tyler Cooper, Brittney Renee Crawford, Chandler Ryan Flowers, Talia Freeman, Shadarria Breyon Garrison, Adron Taylor Greenwood, Landon Scott Hall, Mark Anthony Harden, Sabre Unique Harris, Chrstina Marie Hartness, Kristan Hawkins, Aaron James Hester, Jamal Hill, Thomas Hill, Francis Loraine Holmes, Jmarquel S. Holmes, Bethany Anne Laing, Brenna Ray Leonard, Andrew Justin Malone, Johnnie May McDonald, Dalton Lee McGurk, Stewart Grant McKnight, Ashley Minnie-weather, Brittney Janae Moore, Sydney Rea Murray, Marya Patino, Joshua V. Schofield, Jatavious Detwaint Wilson, Annderria Jeanne Winston, Chelsea Lynn Young

Eleventh Grade: Brianna Lashay Alexander, Tytravious Balwin, Caitlin N. Barnes, Ricky Chatman Bell, Jasmine Shatoya Benton, melinda Michelle Blakely, Meredith Leanne Burlew, Cayden Pearce Caldwell, Seth Preston Church, Lynzie Morgan Clingan, Almeshia Rayann Conley, Beth Marie Conley, Marissa Dawn Duplissey, Monessia Emery-Turner, Kayla Renee Goodman, Kentavious Harris, Diep Van Ho, Quinton Dantany Jackson, Natasha Leshay Jones, Tomassia Dequanaria Jones, Shaterica Monique Knox, Shantel Roschun Lowery, Cody Michael McGurk, Meghan Ayana Melton, Catherine Lynn Mitchell, Taneshia Shadell Morrison, Anastassia Jaquan Mullins, Savon Jontell Paige, Adam Cole Patrick, Brandylynn Louise Porter, Landon Drew Powell, Jeremy Douglas Rainbolt, Trey Juan Randle, Victoria Elizabeth Reynolds, Lauren Brook Sharp, Sierra Nicole Shipman, Demarcus Monquez Smith, Janey Latrice Smith, Lareina Christine Taylor, Travis Cordarius Taylor, Dellanee Faith Wade, Beaunica Moneke Willis

Twelfth Grade: Robert Matthew Allred, Tiffany Nicole Anderson, Barbara Lynette Bailey, Christopher Blocker, Sarnice Shantell Brooks, Clinton Jeptha Butler, Latoya Nicole Butler, Johnathan Daniels, Shelby D. Davis, Larterious Darnell Doaty, Kyron Ramon Edmonds, Randy Lynn Fortner, Melanie Lafay Grimes, Santario harrison, Tobias Avialamar Haynes, Kathy Annette Herron, Skylar Raquel Hollins, Haleigh Beth Irby, Shatonya Latashia Jackson, Miatti Johnson, Alex Rakeem Jones, Charles Madison Lacy, Lauren Elizabeth Lang, Charmila Darnelle Manning, Shawnderrius Manning, Brandon Wendell Mansfield, Jordyn Taylor McBroom, Iesha Montae Morris, Drew Alexander Morse, Kelsea Nichole Potter, Whitney Janel Potter, Nichole Marie Seay, Colby Wayne Sharp, Chelsea Elizabeth Smith, Jasmine Cherlan Taylor, Alexis Thomas, Willie Wallace, Tyrra Shamonne Watkins, Tangela Rena Williams, Tre Lanier Williams, Desiree Lasha Wimberly, Miranda Shay Wyatt

Pine Grove Students Honored

Pine Grove Elementary School principal Heath Murry has announced the school’s honor students for the second six-week grading period.

Principal’s List

Kindergarten: Joe Campanale.

First Grade: Emily McKoin, Jacob Griffith, Jackson Irvine, Ja’Haven Moore, Ethen Stafford and Xander Watt

Second Grade: Brooklin Frisby

Third Grade: Kylie Harkness, Tanner Massey and Alora Masters.

Honor Roll

Kindergarten: Hannah Ainsworth, Grant Boatwright, Makhala Courson, Jacob Ezell, krista Heaton, Callee Herrington, Dallas Hobbs, Landon Hughes, Dylan Rallinson, Destany Smith, Jamari Ward, Madde Wyatt, Zalance Heard, Meghan McDonald, Brett Craig, Annalyssa Marsh, Shamya Jones, Malachi Evans, Kylah Thomas, Jeffrey Cole Gray, Chandler Bancroft, Kelliah Coleman, Terry Gibson, Billie Heaton, Amoszia Jones, Lillyan Jones, Abby Nichols, Grace Lynn Scarborough and Maya Smith

Honorable mention

First Grade: Dalton Berry, Tifton Berry, Keirra Carson, Kamron Coleman, Marissa Cooper, Antija Davis, Zachary Gregory, Collin Harkness, Xavier Harris, Dredarius Minor, Michael Petty, Abigail Pollock, Jayme Spencer and Daniel Wilkerson

Second Grade: Landyn Anders, Madison Jones, Drake Neveu, Sidney Stephenson, La’Borious Washington, Zavin Ray, Quaotez Richards, Samaja Sawyer, Tannger Spigner, Coleigh Laseter, Samantha Leggett, Garrett Phillips, Gavin Rawls, Aden Stoud, Tatyanna McHenry, Zavin Ray and Tanner Spigner

Third Grade: Zachary Garza, Ernesto Gonzalez, Hunter Herrington, Abigail Kirby, Carlie Shockley, Johnathan Stone, Dakota Williams, Blade Bancroft, Donavon Evans, Chazziuna Jones, Dustin Withers and Savannah Griffis

Fourth Grade: Hunter Ainsworth, Ruby Cabrera and Jerina Payton

Fifth Grade: D.J. Bethea and Morgan McKee


Coach Levoie Emanuel’s Lessons Appreciated Later in Life

Levoie and Letha Emanuel celebrated their 52nd anniversary on Saturday.

BASTROP — Surrounded by family and friends, Levoie Emanuel was recognized with an appreciation dinner Saturday afternoon at the St. John Baptist Church Enrichment Center. The occasion also marked Levoie and Letha Emanuel’s 52nd wedding anniversary.

Emanuel was Mike Vining’s assistant coach on Bastrop High’s 1974-75 state championship basketball team. He was also a teacher and later an assistant principal at BHS.

When speaking of coach Emanuel at Saturday’s gathering, the former basketball players unanimously referred to a common characteristic — discipline. “Not only was Mr. Emanuel a father figure to all of us, he whipped up like a father,” Larry Robinson laughed.

Like many influential educators, the lessons Emanuel taught weren’t fully appreciated until later in life. “Coach Emanuel was a discipline guy,” Allen Tanzy said. “I appreciate that, though I didn’t at the time.”

Whether the method was a stern lecture or a board across the behind, Emanuel got his point across. “If a player wasn’t executing his position, I would pull him to the side and talk to him real nice,” Emanuel joked.

On a more serious note, he added: “I’m proud of my boys. I always called them my boys.” Though tough, Emanuel, who is recovering from a stroke, is remembered as being fair. “Mr. Emanuel kept us in line,” Eric Montgomery said. “He treated the top player on the team the same as he did the bottom player.”

Emanuel was as strict in the classroom as he was on the basketball court. His students dreaded being sent to the wall (with knees bent and backs straight) as much or more than the basketball players dreaded the paddle.

“When you got out of line, Mr. E was going to find out,” Ricky Benton said. “It all started in drafting class. One thing you didn’t do was drop that T-square. If you did, you were going to the wall. “That’s why I could jump out of the gym — Mr. Emanuel putting me on the wall.”

Emanuel expected his players to be well-behaved on and off the court.

“We had lost a game at Bolton (in Alexandria) and Karl Natt started singing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas,’” recalled Terry Lee, Benton’s teammate on Bastrop’s 1979 district championship team. “Mr. E was driving the bus and kept looking in the mirror. When he started looking in the mirror, you got quiet.

“When we got to Bastrop, he stopped the bus and said, ‘Nobody move.’ He waited outside the door and when everybody got off, he hit them (with his board).

“When I got off, I put my hands right here (on his seat), so he hit me right here (across the thigh).”

Light-hearted humor aside, Emanuel could also coach. “The year we won the state championship, our JV team was 29-0,” said Willie Charles Robinson, a trainer for the 1974-75 team. “A lot of people forget that.” As evidenced by Saturday’s event, the lessons Emanuel taught have not been forgotten by his former players. There is no better testament to a job well done.


Thank You Coach E.

What up Coaerch??? I am truly sorry that I wasn’t able to attend the festivities for you Coach E.. Especially when I saw the videos of the ceremony and and seeing some of the players. It was great listening to their comments and hearing their praise of you and their expressions of appreciation for how you influenced their lives. It is a well deserved honor that was bestowed upon you by Pelican State Youth Movement, as well as many others whose lives you have touched over the years. As many of the guys can probably attest, you not only touched our lives, but you also touched our “rear ends” when we needed it. I’m certain that a large majority of your players can share a story or two about a personal run-in with you that didn’t end pleasantly. However, I’m sure that today they’ll all express gratitude for your guidance. I guess its sort of like our parents. We don’t really appreciate all that they’ve done for us until we grow up. Then we remember and realize how difficult is must have been to put up with us knuckleheads. Its the same with you Coach. We now realize your affect on our lives all these years later. I know for a fact that your hard hand and tough diciplinary methods kept a lot of us out of jail and kept us on the right track. Methods that might be termed “highly questionable” and might be severely frowned upon in this day and age. To be quite honest, each one of our schools today could probably use a Coach E. or two in them to straighten out this new generation. Every now and then I’ll log onto Bastrop Enterprise online and read about certain things going on in the schools and on the buses and begin to wonder what would have happened if we had carried on like that? Not a good thought!!! It had to be hard dealing with the likes of Me, Larry Robinson, Kenny & Calvin Natt, Jamie Mayo, Carl Kilpatrick, Eugene Robinson, Eddie Fenceroy, Homer Lee, Roscoe Gordon, Jerry Payne, Mike Phillips, Eric Montgomery, Mike Langston, Ronnie Robinson, Rayford Dickerson, Jeff Simmons, Tim Robertson, Kenny Duncan, Rev. Otis Brown, Stanley Atkins, Stewart Williams, Ricky Dale and Terry Lee, just to name a few. I stop with Terry Lee because I believe he threw me under the bus(no pun intended) when he said I started up the singing of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” when we were on the bus returning from a game in Alexandria as he puts it in one of the videos. I don’t recall that, but its highly possible. Coach, you must have knocked that memory right out of me with that board when I got off the bus:>) Coach, you’ve always been in Pelican State Youth Movement’s corner. Even well before I decided to take more of an active role in Kenny’s vision for the Pelican State Youth Movement organizaton, you were there. Kenny’s vision was, to be short, to help the kids of Morehouse Parish. A very noble thought indeed. However, it was people like you, Coach, as well as teachers like Ms, Inez Grant, Mrs. Andrews, Coach Hamlin, Mr. Washington, Coach White, Coach Johnson(Roosevelt & Namon), Mrs. Tappin, Mr. Alexander, Coach Peguese , and others that had an influence on me personally, as well as countless others that have walked the halls of Morehouse Parish schools. Coach E, you and Mrs. Andrews have never missed a camp that PSYM put on for the kids every summer. You are always there and willing to assist in any way that we needed. And for that, we at PSYM are sincerely grateful. We thank you for the influence, encouragement and general caring that you’ve showed to our campers. The same care and encouragement that you showed to your pupils while in school. You all are what they refer to when “the village” reference is made with regard to raising our youth. Now, there were times, Coach, when I perosnally questioned your methods. Namely the endless “line drills”, some of “the boardings” you passed out in your office and classroom, and last but not least, “THE WALL!!!!”. For those of you reading this, let me just bring you up to speed about “THE WALL”. There were a few things that Coach E. just absolutely did not tolerate. Being disrespected! Talked back to! Giving less than all out effort on the court! Making a bonehead mistake on the court(guilty on a few occasions), and last but not least, “DROPPING HIS T-SQUARE”. Dropping our t-square was something that we all feared because we knew that if we did have the misfortune of letting it hit the floor, we would have to face the wrath of Coach E.. To the wall you went for 10 –15 minutes. He would march you to the wall, lower you into a squat position until your thighs were horizontal to the floor, and there you would stay for the remainder of your sentence. Just when you were starting to get tired and your thighs started to really burn at about the midway point, he’d be sure to pay you a visit and forearm or elbow you in the chest or stomach. Now that I think of it, that’s probably why my knees are about shot today! Just kidding, Coach. All the guys that I’ve talked to that took your class said that they really enjoyed it. Believe it or not, I still have some of the drawings from your class as well as test papers. Huuummm!, I wonder why I decided to major in building construction when I went to Northeast? Guess I kinda liked your class too, Coach. Lastly, I’d just like to thank you Coach E for being a part of my life and being there for our organization. We really appreciate and honor your contribution. Hurry up and get well and we’ll see you at this summer’s camp. Sincerely Karl L. Natt

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