Donnisha Alexander's Letter to the Editor on Educational Systems Session
My name is Donnisha Alexander a student in the 2009-2010 Leadership Tangipahoa class. My sponsor is the Town of Kentwood and I represent Mayor Harold Smith and Town Council. We started our Leadership Tangipahoa class on September 17, 2009 and have had six sessions. These six sessions included Parish Government, City Government/Environment, Hidden Treasures (Art, Culture, History), Economic Development, Health Systems & Elder Care, and Education. Each class has exposed us to an overview of what Tangipahoa Parish has to offer. The more exposure I get from this class, the more I realize how I love living in Tangipahoa Parish.
Tangipahoa Parish is abundantly rich in resources. I did not realize how much our public schools have to offer our children until our recent visit within the Tangipahoa Parish School System. We began our morning visit at the Central Office in Amite. Superintendent Kolwe greeted the class and gave a birds-eye view of the system staff, employment, student enrollment, and budget finances. Board President Ann Smith presented us with a power point exposing the "Role of the Superintendent and the Nine Board Members". After curriculum and finances were discussed, Attorney Patin gave us information on the court desegregation case and future plans for Tangipahoa Parish School System. This included the magnet school program for Hammond and the proposed court desegregation plan.
Our first site visit was at Independence Elementary School where we met Principal Cathy Leblanc and staff. She gave us an overview of Independence Elementary. She enlightened the class on how the public schools and catholic schools were different. Teachers demonstrated the use of the smart board and exposed us to the mini computer centers found in every classroom.
By noon, we arrived at Hammond High School where we met Principal Carmon Moore. An exotic lunch was prepared and served by the Schools’ Pro Start Training Program, then we toured the campus. The group saw how the ninth graders use the reading centers that are provided in every class. We were shown the weather meter and told how the meter readings are sent to NASA daily. We also saw the Robot that the students are working toward for the Robotic competition.
Later we went to the La. Technical College. There we met Dean Mack Jackson. He informed us about the enrollment, different campus locations, and the entrance requirements of La. Technical College. After receiving information about the school we toured the campus and learned what the different departments offered.
Finally, we arrived at Southeastern where President Dr. John Crain spoke to us and gave information on enrollment, the cost of tuition, an admission requirements for Southeastern University. Dr. Crain brought to our attention that tuition will be increasing due to budget cuts and also talked to us about the future plans of Southeastern University Campus.
In conclusion, Tangipahoa Parish Public School System has much more to offer in their curriculum than most citizens realize, therefore they should update and keep our citizens more knowledgeable of the many wonderful available offerings within the total system.