Principals proud of motivated students

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Carolyn Roy | News Editor
Lakeview Principal William Hymes believes he has found the key to motivating and rejuvenating students at his school and that key is a system of challenges.
Board President Reba Phelps has asked principals to speak at the school board committee and regular meetings to highlight the good things happening at their schools. At the committee meeting April 12, Hymes said the “Star Challenge” is getting results and he has been blown away by the interest seventh and eighth grade students have in reaching mastery or better on State testing. He could say the same for high school students interested in doing well on their ACT tests. Hymes said the enthusiasm students are showing is unusual.

This article published in the April 21, 2022, print edition

One example of how the system works is that seniors who score 20 or above on the actual tests get to decorate their graduation hats. Another reward given is getting to “dress down” for a month. “We made that promise to the seniors and they went after it,” Hymes said. The incentives are approved by Supt. Dr. Grant Eloi.
Hymes outlines numerous improvements made to the Lakeview campus. They included but are not limited to remodeled bathrooms, refinished gym floors, addition of a culinary kitchen with students able to earn a SafeServe certification, upgraded HVAC system, new marquee, improved softball and baseball facilities, new track that can be used by the community and new football field turf. The culinary program, sponsored by Sherry Helms, has established Gator Grounds, a coffee shop run by students for students and staff.
A major improvement in security is the addition of 64 cameras.
Maj. Stacey Wiggins and Chief M/Sgt. John Thomas spoke about the Air Force JROTC program and how it builds character and a sense of community pride in the cadets. So far this year, as the result of two events, the cadets contributed 66,000 pounds of food to the food bank representing 1,052 volunteer hours. The cadets are also enjoying the benefits of a marksman ship program.
The school has a revitalized dance line program sponsored by Jasmine Washington. Some 20-40 girls turned out for five dance camps.
Coach Brandon Helms has begun a golf team on which his son is the only player for now but he hopes to grow the team. Holtz Helms was named the Central Louisiana High School Golfer of the Year.
Also speaking were Ashley Normand who is in charge of the CLEP program and John Taberlet who is the weight lifting team sponsor.
National Honor Society President Zoie Britt has received a $32,000 scholarship.
Fairview Alpha Principal Brooke Williams spoke at the April 14 meeting about her expectation that the school will be an A school in two years. To achieve that goal, the faculty holds cluster meetings weekly to analyze data and student learning with Instructional Specialist Lauren Eloi.
“We’re always asking what is best for the students,” Williams said. The teachers are fully vested in the vision for improving learning and are data driven.
Williams, too, had a long list of achievements and programs at her school. They included but are not limited to a sixth grade band that is small but growing and will feed into the Lakeview band; an archery team that went to State; after-school cooking in a mobile kitchen; math and literacy night that had over 200 people attending; a mentor program with Lakeview students; and a walking track that is open to the community and more.