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The Eunice High School state 3-A championship football team was honored at Thursday’s St. Landry Parish School Board meeting. The Bobcats defeated Sterlington 59-47 on Dec. 7 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans to capture the state title. From left, are Lane DeVillier, Avery Lee, Coach Andre Vige, Jordan Ledet, St. Landry Parish School Board member Mary Ellen Donatto, Carlin Vigers, Superintendent Patrick Jenkins, Jordan Ogesby, Zach Joubert, Brodi Walker, Coach Paul Trosclair, Principal Mitch Fontenot and School Board member Albert Hayes Jr. Vige and Donatto hold the state trophy. Trosclair commented that one goal of the team is try to represent the city of Eunice and St. Landry Parish in a first-class way. Trosclair said other team members were involved in other school activities and were unable to attend the meeting. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

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Mary Ellen Donatto holds the gavel after being elected president of the St. Landry Parish School Board on Thursday. At right is Superintendent Patrick Jenkins.

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St. Landry Parish School Board members completed their election process by reciting oaths and signing documents presented by the St. Landry Parish Clerk at Thursday’s meeting in Opelousas. From left, are Lisa Doyle, chief clerk; newly-elected Board member Myron Guillory; St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux; and School Board member Mary Ellen Donatto. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

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St. Landry Parish Council member Ken Marks speaks a St. Landry Parish School Board committee of the whole meeting Thursday in Opelousas about a lease for a Head Start center in Opelousas. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Eunice Elementary bid approved; Eunice High championship year celebrated

Donatto elected to head School Board

Mary Ellen Donatto was elected president of the St. Landry Parish School Board without opposition at Thursday’s Board meeting.
Donatto, who retired as principal at East Elementary, is in her second year on the School Board. She was elected without opposition in qualifying July 2018.
Donatto thanked the Board members after her election and praised the district for raising its state School Performance Score by 13 points last year. She called it a “remarkable feat.”
She also announced that a strategic plan had been completed for the district and that it would be an “excellent tool to hold all of us accountable.”
Port Barre School Board member Donnie Perron was elected vice president on a 7-5 vote. Voting for Perron were Albert Hayes Jr., Anthony Standberry, Raymond Cassimere, Kyle Boss, Myron Guillory, Josh Boudreaux and Perron.
Hazel Sias, an Opelouas Board member, was nominated for vice president and received votes from herself, Donatto, Randy Wagley, Denise Rose and Joyce Haynes.
Thursday was the first meeting for four newly elected members: Boudreaux, District 7; Guillory, District 11; Rose, District 5; and Haynes, District 2. John Miller, newly elected District 5 member, was not present for the meeting.
The Board approved a $364,300 bid from Martin Insulations and Coatings, LLC, for renovation of one of three buildings on the Eunice Elementary campus that was damaged by fire in August 2018.
There were 11 bids that ranged from Martin’s low bid to a high bid of $498,500.
In a Committee of the Whole on Thursday, Claudia Blanchard, operations director, said the goal is to have the building in operation by the start of school in August.
Martin Insulation and Coatings, of the Lake Charles area, has five months to complete its work.
The fire was in one classroom, but damaged the entire building, she said. A tile floor, which contained asbestos, had been removed as of Thursday, she said. On Friday, a roofing project was cleared to proceed.
The building will be refurbished with new flooring, LED lighting, repainted walls, redone restrooms, new cabinets and dropped down ceilings.
The building was insured and Superintendent Patrick Jenkins said after the fire that the school system’s deductible was $25,000.
Head Start lease
The Head Start program’s lease of property in Opelousas near the parish airport will be back in play on Wednesday when the Parish Council may consider a proposal to charge Head Start $500 a month to use the property.
The Council’s agenda does not state a price, but the finance committee arrived at $500 at its Jan. 2 meeting.
At Thursday’s school meeting, Perron said the fee has been $60 a year for 30 years.
There are other non-profits on parish property that are not charged, he said.
“I know it is about money They have financial issues like we do,” he said of the Parish Council.
“I’m asking you to call your parish government people that you know. Tell them you are concerned. We want to be treated fairly and maybe even go to the meeting next Wednesday,” he said.
Ken Marks, a Port Barre area Parish Council member, said the Head Start lease began in 1992 There was an exit clause in the contract if the lease was not paid and there has been no payment in 20 to 25 years, he said.
“Federal dollars can’t be spent without some contractual attachments,” he said.
The Parish Council asked as much as $1,125 a month for use of the property after an appraisal.
The School Board has proposed $350 a month.
Jenkins said the city of Eunice owns the property and building used by the Head Start center in Eunice, and charges nothing for is use.
District goals
On Friday, a copy of the strategic plan was emailed to The Eunice News.
The district’s goals are:
Strategic Goal 1: St. Landry Parish will maximize the academic achievement , social, and emotional growth of all students. Every child will enter kindergarten ready to learn and graduate on-time and college and career ready.
Strategic Goal 2: St. Landry Parish will recruit, develop, retain and reward a premier workforce.
Strategic Goal 3: St. Landry Parish effectively partners with parents, families, business leaders and the community at-large in the education of our students.
Strategic Goal 4: St. Landry Parish will be financially stable and will manage resources strategically, transparently and in support of the district’s mission and goals.
Strategic Goal 5: St. Landry Parish will provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff while ensuring that district assets are managed appropriately through efficient and effective operations.
Strategic Goal 6: St. Landry Parish performance and accountability are optimized through the effective use of technology to support and enhance teaching, learning, and administrative processes.
Strategic Goal 7: St. Landry Parish will prioritize student growth as the focus of all district policies, accountability systems and resource allocations.

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