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Leadership Tangipahoa

Press Releases

Date Press Release

Annette Baldwin and Christi Marceaux's Letter to the Editor on the Education System Session

For Immediate Release:                                                       4/2/18
Contact:                                                                                 Casie N. Qualls

Annette Baldwin & Christi Marceaux's Letter to the Editor on the Education System Session

Leadership Tangipahoa classmates pictured at Hammond High Magnet School with ProStart students and teachers.

Top Row (left to right)
Nick Gagliano, Christ Marceaux, Andrew Cambre, Kearstin Foster, Khloe Chen, Sara Baiamonte, Avalon Oliver, Kiara Smith, Liz Reno, Shy Henry, Ann Stevens, Trenten Oliphant, Shelly Gaydos, Taylor Addison, Bridget Laborde, Cade Kershenstine, Erin Fleming, Connie Chavers-Henry, Amy Brumfield, Sharmaine Robinson, Carmen Brabham, Brian Abels, Melissa Aymond, Ralph Wood, Nick Clesi, Jaime Seal, Annette Baldwin, Patrick Stoufflet, Kathleen Elstrott.

Bottom Row (left to right) Somia Mitchell, Courtney Calhoon

Dear Editor,

Our day started off bright and early by meeting Mrs. Sue Courtney of Courtney Christian School. She was able to give a thorough overview of what it took to start the school as well as a tour to meet the children and teachers.  Mrs. Courtney spoke of their advanced curriculum as well as the strong emphasis in character training. She emphasized the importance of children finding their moral compass.  Courtney Christian School is a private Christian school whose curriculum is based on the history of the Country founded on Christian principles. She strongly believes that this is what sets CCS apart from other schools.  Mrs. Sue stated parents pay a reasonable tuition in order for their children to attend. The school also has a resource room for children with special needs. Currently the school accepts children in grades pre-K through eight grade, but there are plans for a 9th grade academy in the near future in order to progress into the high school grade levels.

Our second stop of the day was the Tangipahoa Parish School Board in Amite.  We were welcomed by Therese Domiano, board President, Thomas Bellevia, Assistance Superintendent.  Allison Andrews supervisor for the Magnet Program shared how we host the largest Montessori Education program in the state. Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet is a fully authorized IB (International Baccalaureate) program. The IB program provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education and is recognized by many universities worldwide. She explained that the Magnet program is a random selection opportunity that is not based on academics but is part of the desegregation program in Tangipahoa.

We later heard from Bret Schnadelbach, Chief Financial Officer for TPSS. Bret gave us lots of daunting facts on how our schools are funded. We have a general fund, special fund, capital project fund (two 1 cent sales tax for education in Tangipahoa Parish) other revenues are federal and state grants.  Sales tax is the biggest local source of revenue for schools.

We are 68th of 69 of the lowest millage paid into the education system in the state.  40 mill is the state average.  Tangipahoa is 13.3 and St. Tammany is 67.39 (Ranked 4), and Livingston 35.89 (Ranked 42). We spend the lowest in dollars per student in Tangipahoa. The state average is twice the amount we pay per student.  76% of the funds are spent in an instructional environment. 

Our third stop was Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet, and heard from Principal, Stephen, Labbe' as he gave us information and a tour.  We were given a more in-depth explanation of the IB World School philosophy.  An IB School is "not just academics, the school teaches the whole child through a learner profile".  There is a strong belief of teaching through inquiry and interactive feedback with other students. Mr. Labbe' stated, "we are one in seven communities in the world that has IB on all grade levels". He voiced that the students are all exposed to Music, performing arts, Spanish, PE, and Library/Computer in addition to their core subjects, and has an enrollment of 1,232 students.  

While enjoying a wonderful meal provided by the Prostart culinary program, we attended a presentation by Shelly Gaydos, Principal of Hammond High Magnet.  Shelly and Mrs. Haase did a fine job explaining the different programs available at Hammond High Magnet.  There were 29 seniors (out of 300) to graduate with the special IB Diploma in the 4rth Cohort. IB classes tend to be smaller in size.  Students must have a 2.8 overall and 3.0 in the classes you major in to apply for the IB Diploma program.  Mrs. Gaydos said that they are creating more ways for students to take advantage of the IB High School Diploma. She explained that between Sophomore and junior year students decide where and what they want to study in college. HHM works towards graduates being college and career ready. One of the challenges that the school faces, is the ability to get the word out to prospective students on all the amazing opportunities available at HHMS.

Our next stop was Northshore Technical Community College with Dean Bridget Laborde.  Dean Laborde gave us a high energy presentation that included the history of the school that started in 1965.  The Community College focuses on high wage and high demand programs. They keep job placement benchmarks and students must graduate in their chosen program to maintain growth and longevity of that program.  Dean Laborde listed facilities in Bogalusa, Greensburg, Lacombe, and Walker. There is also a program on the SLU Campus called Connect to Success for students that may be denied admission to SLU can take classes to better prepare for a later admission.  There are more than 200 students that have transferred to SLU through the Connect to Success program. We then took a walking tour of the Community college where we were able to meet and tour the machine shop, automotive program, HVAC /Electrical program, Pharmacy technician and Nursing program.  Dean Laborde reported that NTCC has an open admission process and that there is no minimum ACT score required.  Their instructors have real time working experience in the field that they teach, which is very helpful to the success of the programs and job placement for their students.  

Our last stop of the day was at Southeastern Louisiana University. We were hosted on the third floor conference room of the new student union. Dr. Crain explained the ULS system to us. There are about 100,000 students in the UL system.  He talked of the growth of Southeastern with increase of 4.5% freshmen and 6.1% in graduate students. We were so thankful that President, Dr. Crain was able to spend some time with us. He gave us the most sincere personal leadership lesson from his own experience.  It made the end of the afternoon very special

We want to give Special thanks to Nick Gagliano and Cassie N. Qualls for their guidance to our 2017-2018 class and to our very special drivers.

Annette Baldwin & Christ Marceaux
Leadership Tangipahoa Class of 2017-2018

Annette Newton-Baldwin M.A., LPC, LMFT
Assistant Director University Counseling Center
Southeastern Louisiana Univeristy

Annette Newton-Baldwin M.A., LPC, LMFT, currently serves as Assistant Director of the University Counseling Center at Southeastern Louisiana University. Annette has been employed at Southeastern since 2003. Her first love is her work with the college students.   Annette did significant work with transitioning Southeastern to be a tobacco free campus through serving as the campus grant coordinator with Tobacco free living. Annette also serves as the President of Junior Auxiliary of Hammond as well as our Parish Alcohol and Drug Prevention Coalition, TRACC. She has served as past Finance Chair for the Junior Auxiliary of Hammond Jolly Jingles Market. Current projects include implementation of a Collegiate Recovery Program (fostering special support and programming for students in recovery) for Southeastern Louisiana University.

Christi Marceaux MSN, RN
Vice President of Heart Health Services
North Oaks Medical Center

Christi Marceaux. MSN, RN, graduated as a Registered Nurse from Charity Hospital School of Nursing and completed a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Leadership and Administration.  As a member of the Executive Nursing Team at North Oaks Medical Center for the past 7 years, she currently serves as Vice President of Heart Health Services at North Oaks Medical Center. Following her relocation to Tangipahoa Parish following Hurricane Katrina, Christi has strived to become active in the community and has a passion for serving this area and the people that so warmly welcomed her family.    In addition to her work at North Oaks, Christi serves as the Treasurer of the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce and is a Ponchatoula Rotarian.  She participates in the STEM Cafe for the Tangi STEM Coalition, which facilitates quality STEM Education opportunities through Tangipahoa Parish.  Christi is married to Joseph Marceaux for 31 years and they have 3 adult daughters that are all SLU Alumni. Her most recent adventure is co-ownership of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More of Hammond with her husband Joey.