November 8th was an important day for our parish and state. Many of our public officials were up for election or re-election, including all nine seats of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.

We are pleased to share that five of the seven school board candidates endorsed by students, teachers, parents, and community members won their election or a spot in their district’s runoff! This is very promising for the future of East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, and we know that EBR is on the Rise! These five endorsed individuals believe in expanding access to quality early education, improving school safety, passing policies to ensure there is a quality teacher in every classroom, and that a child’s future should never be determined by their zip code. These candidates ran clean, positive campaigns focused on our most important resource: our students.

District 1: Incumbent Mark Bellue defeated challenger Dr. Kimberly Bainguel by a narrow margin. Mark’s return as a quiet and steadfast leader will be important as the district continues to implement its student-centered strategic plan.

District 2: Incumbent Dadrius Lanus defeated challenger Vereta Lee with a landslide 66% of the vote. Dadrius is a champion for equity in our district, and we look forward to his continued service in support of students across District 2 and the whole of East Baton Rouge Parish.

District 4: Shashonnie Steward will be in the December 10th runoff against Monique Wicks Robinson. District 4 is an open seat (no incumbent running) and in the November 8th primary, Shashonnie secured 47% of the vote to Monique’s 28%. Some of Shashonnie’s most exciting ideas including bringing a dedicated Pre-K facility to District 4 and continuing to build on the district’s efforts to improve workforce readiness opportunities for all students.

District 5: Challenger Cliff “Coach” Lewis defeated incumbent Evelyn Ware-Jackson with 54% of the vote. Coach Cliff worked incredibly hard throughout his campaign to ensure every District 5 voter heard and understood his vision for EBR students: one that uses his experience as a Coach to unite schools and families toward the common goal of supporting and educating our students.

District 7: Incumbent Mike Gaudet will face challenger Cathy Carmichael in the December 10th runoff. Despite false negative ads attacking Mike’s character in the last days and weeks of the election, he stayed laser-focused on the facts and his undeniable student-centered track record. We will continue to support Mike in the runoff because his experience with balancing the district’s budget, level-headed and student-focused approach to every issue, support for teacher pay raises, and unwavering commitment to expand access to quality early education are too important for our district to lose if we are to keep EBR on the Rise.

Now, we cannot let off the gas. Two Stand-endorsed candidates are in runoff campaigns. They have another four weeks of campaigning until the December 10th runoff. We believe Shashonnie Steward and Mike Gaudet will be important members of the school board and we will continue to elevate their student-centered platforms and support their efforts.

Thank you, Baton Rouge, for showing up for students. We are inspired by the opportunities ahead of us.

LEARN MORE:

To learn more about the good things going on in EBR and what’s still coming, please visit https://bit.ly/ebrontherise.

If you have questions about how, when, or where to vote in the run-off, please visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Geauxvote webpage or the GeauxVote app.

If you would like to donate in support of the two parent-, student-, community-, and teacher-endorsed candidates who are in runoff races, please click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 29, 2022

Contact: Brigitte Nieland

Phone: 225-603-5668

Email: [email protected]

STAND FOR CHILDREN LOUISIANA ANNOUNCES 2022-23 LEAD FELLOWS

Educators from across the state selected to hone their skills as advocates for students and teachers.

(BATON ROUGE) – Stand for Children Louisiana announced today the selection of its 2022-2023 Foundational and Advanced LEAD Fellows. The LEAD Fellowship is a six-month experience that allows education professionals to work together to hone their craft, study education policy, find and elevate their voice, engage with local and state policy makers, and advocate on behalf of all students. In its eight years of operation, more than 130 educators from across the state have completed the program, many returning for multiple years. This year’s application and selection process was the most competitive to date.

“The LEAD Fellowship has equipped well over 100 of our state’s most effective educators with the information, tools, and connections they needed to take their work beyond the classroom and positively impact the processes and policies of our state’s education systems. The LEAD Fellowship allows Fellows to identify issues they want to influence, then empowers them to study the issue and address it as they see fit,” said Stand for Children Louisiana Executive Director Carrie Griffin Monica.

“If one cares about the educational success of students in our state, joining the LEAD Fellowship is a must,” said 2021-22 Foundational Fellow and 2022-23 Advanced Fellow Yulinda Marshall.

For the second year, the LEAD Fellowship will be facilitated by Kimberly Eckert. Eckert was the 2018 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year and currently serves as Dean of Undergraduate Studies for Oxford Teachers College at Reach University and is an employee of West Baton Rouge Schools where she serves as the Educators Rising Instructor & Innovative Programs and Instructional Coordinator. Eckert is deeply committed to building educator networks across the state, elevating educators’ voices, and ensuring educators are involved in every education-related decision being made in our state.

“I am continually impressed with the dedication, passion, tenacity, energy, and strength shown by the LEAD Fellows. I am a firm believer that teachers and students can do anything they put their minds to, and I truly believe this year’s Fellows are capable of making truly impactful student-centered improvements to our state’s education system,” said Eckert.

This year’s LEAD Fellows are:

  • Ssb Becnel, 2nd Grade Teacher, Orleans Parish
  • Shalonda Berry, PreK-6th Grade Principal, Avoyelles Parish
  • Justin Broussard, 6th-8th Grade Teacher, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Anna Cain, Secondary Science Teacher and Department Head, Morehouse Parish
  • Tammy Chaffin, Librarian/Technology Coordinator, Livingston Parish
  • Tyler Colson, 6th Grade Educator, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Dannon Dauzat, K-6th Grade Instructional Coach, Avoyelles Parish
  • Timberly Deville, LANG Education Programs, Rapides Parish serving Louisiana
  • Nagham Elbizri, 6th-8th Grade French and Math Teacher, Jefferson Parish
  • Ashley Everett, Educator & Senior Program Manager of Adolescent Health, Orleans Parish
  • Breanna Guidry, 9th Grade Teacher, West Baton Rouge Parish
  • Lyn Hakeem, School Board Chair, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Tara Henderson, Assistant Principal, Tangipahoa Parish Schools
  • Teran James, 6th Grade Teacher, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Paula Johnson, 8th Grade Teacher, St. John the Baptist Parish
  • Brandi Lee, 3rd Grade Teacher, Avoyelles Parish
  • Daven Lewis, 8th Grade Teacher, Jefferson Parish
  • Rachel Little, 9th-12 Grade Teacher, Orleans Parish
  • Alayna Maberry, 3rd-4th Grade Interventionist & MTSS Coordinator, Orleans Parish
  • Vasy McCoy, PreK-8th Grade School Director, Orleans Parish
  • Jessica Netterville, 9th-12th Grade Librarian, St. Tammany Parish
  • Carla Powell, 9th-12th Grade Teacher, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Lisa Staples, Former Pre-K and K Educator and Current Mental Health Program Administrator, Orleans Parish
  • Anthony Turner, 10th-12th Grade Teacher, Pointe Coupee Parish
  • Dr. Turner Keller, K-12th Grade Teacher, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Raven Veal, English I Virtual Educator at University View Academy, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Sabrina Washington, 9th-12th Grade Teacher, Avoyelles Parish
  • Gretchen Wiltz, 1st-4th Grade Teacher, Zachary Community School District
  • Erikka Wishom, Head Start-2nd Grade Principal, East Baton Rouge Parish

For the second year, we are proud to also share the 2022-23 class of Advanced LEADers who are returning to the Fellowship to continue their advocacy journey and further elevate their collective voice to improve education throughout our state. Advanced LEADers will leverage what was learned during foundational years of the LEAD Fellowship to gain more in-depth understanding of the Fellowship’s three areas of study: Literacy, Quality Schools for All, and Juvenile/Criminal Justice.

“This is one of the most educationally invigorating programs I have ever been involved with,” said 2021-22 Advanced Fellow Lovie Howell.

The 2022-23 Advanced LEAD Fellowship will be facilitated by a team of education advocates, from left to right: Khalil Roy, Educator, Avoyelles Parish; Faten Ahmad, Educator & Adjunct Professor, Jefferson Parish; Hollis Wilson-Davis, M.Ed.-Asst. Principal, St. Mary Parish; and Keonte Wells, Educator, Avoyelles Parish.

“Some of our Advanced Fellows have been with us since 2016, challenging us to grow and adapt our programming to serve them and their experience,” said Executive Director Carrie Griffin Monica, “and we have seen some truly incredible projects and results from these exceptional educator advocates.”

This year’s Advanced LEADers are:

  • Kelsye Baudoin, K-5th School Librarian, Lafayette Parish
  • Melissa Bordelon, 1st Grade Educator and K-2nd Literacy Content Leader, Avoyelles Parish
  • Wiley Brazier V, Professor & Consultant, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Kristen Bruce, 7th-12th Grade Teacher, Vernon Parish
  • Robyn Butler, English 1 Teacher and ACT Prep, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Dr. Suresh Chiruguru, 9th-12th Grade Teacher, Peer-Coach, Mentor, & Teacher Leader, Calcasieu Parish
  • Keisha Fleming, 4th-5th Grade Teacher, Iberville Parish
  • Marian Jackson-Scott, Former Teacher, St. Landry Parish
  • Jennifer Kelly, The Center for Literacy and Learning, Ouachita Parish supporting Northeast Louisiana
  • Yulinda Marshall, 6th-12th Magnet Site Coordinator and 9th Grade Dual Enrollment Facilitator, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Dr. Tiffanye McCoy-Thomas, PhD – Curriculum Content Supervisor, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Nicole Nelson, Consultant and Instructional Coach, Caddo Parish supporting Louisiana
  • Karen Parrino, K Teacher and Coach to K-3rd Educators, Livingston Parish
  • Dr. Tonya J. Rose, Dean College of Education and Human Development at Southern University at New Orleans, Orleans Parish
  • Victoria Rosser, Educator and Educator Consultant, Orleans Parish
  • Mary Elizabeth Thibeaux-Clay, 9th-12th Career and Technical Education Administrator, St. Martin Parish
  • Lauren Trahan, 10th Grade Teacher and Administrator, Vermilion Parish
  • Jennifer Underwood, Assistant Principal, Calcasieu Parish

The LEAD Fellowship kicks off in November and will conclude in April for both Foundational and Advanced LEADers. To learn more about Stand’s LEAD Fellowships, please visit http://stand.org/louisiana/lead-fellowship. To be notified of future application deadlines, please complete this short interest form.

About Stand for Children Louisiana
Stand for Children Louisiana is a unique catalyst for education equity and racial justice, to create a brighter future for us all. For more information, please visit
www.stand.org/louisiana.

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The current discussion in Baton Rouge is largely centered on the budget for the 2022 – 2023 school year, which will be adopted in the next few weeks. To get a better feeling for community desires for our education system, Stand conducted a poll of 1,823 likely general election voters in EBR. The poll was conducted in May of 2022 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.68%.

Respondents were asked about five specific priority areas from the district’s strategic plan and whether a candidate’s support of that priority area would make them more or less likely to vote for that candidate. While all five priorities had over 80% of people saying a candidate’s support would make them more likely to vote for that candidate, the single highest scoring priority was investing in effective teacher training and coaching on early literacy to help children read by third grade (89%).

The second most important priority was expanding access to quality preschool so more students start kindergarten ready to learn (82%). Less than half of EBR’s kindergarteners start school ready to learn, so Stand agrees that expanding access to quality early education programs is of the utmost importance.

Providing more career and technical education courses and ensuring mental health supports/counseling resources both came in at 81% support while expanding opportunities for high school students to take advantage of courses that enable them to earn college credit received 80% support.

The data above is district-wide and there were no significant differences in support between district, party, race, or gender.

This overview of community and likely voter perspectives provides a crystal-clear picture of the community’s priorities. When considering the budget and direction of our district, Stand calls on board members to both follow the evidence of effectiveness and overwhelming level of community support for these priorities and vote in favor of the student-centered initiatives listed above.

If you would like to email your school board member and ask them to support the proposed budget, which priorities these five priorities and more, please click here.