Last week, Superintendent Sito Narcisse announced that – after conversations with board leadership – he would step aside. 

This comes as no surprise following a 4-5 vote in December to renew his contract, which ends in June.  And, this is a story we know well given that EBR has had four superintendents in six years. It also came as no surprise because Dr. Narcisse is a student-focused leader who, in order to drive rapid student improvement, often upset the proverbial apple cart.

During his brief tenure, the EBR school system saw significant gains in student achievement:

·       Initiated the first true Strategic Plan for EBRPS in 20+ years done in close collaboration with the Board, the Public and with District Staff.

·       Expanded Early Childhood Education by 1000 seats from the ages O to 4 years old, increasing availability of high-quality early education to families in need through innovative and diverse delivery models

·       Increased the promotion rate of first-time ninth grade students by 4% from school year 2020-2021 to school year 2021-2022.  The on-track for graduation percentage rose from 68% to 87%.

·       13 Equity or Opportunity award honorees (top 10% for performance among

students with disabilities, English Language Leaners, or Economically Disadvantaged students – with no intervention required status)

·       63% of district schools earned an ‘A’ or ‘B’ in Progress; 90% of district schools earned an ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ in Progress.

·       Mastery on LEAP assessments in elementary and middle schools with 85% or higher students classified as Economically Disadvantaged increased by an average of 3.66 points as compared to the state average of 3.2 points in the same metric.

·       Greatly expanded opportunities for all high schoolers to take advance courses for college credit (AP and dual-enrollment) and industry based certifications from about 20% to 80%, again leading the nation.

·       Working with BRAC, initiated a district-wide senior internship program with one of the largest participations in the nation and will grow significantly this year.

We thank Dr. Narcisse for taking on the tremendous job of coming to Baton Rouge and making a difference. He demonstrated that Baton Rouge students are as smart and talented as any other and that, when presented with opportunity, they will rise to the challenge. We are grateful. During the last two years seeds were planted and, if allowed to grow, will benefit EBR for this and future generations.

We congratulate Mr. Smith on his interim appointment and look forward to working with him on issues that move the needle for students. We hope that politics won’t interfere with the ability to provide quality education for every student in this district. We wish him luck.

What is in the best interest of our children?

Mike Polito wrote an article featured in the Business Report about the EBR Superintendent contract renewal and it is a MUST READ!

Polito stated. “The pattern of frequent superintendent turnover in the last decade and a half is alarming, and the latest decision seems particularly incongruous given the superintendent’s notable accomplishments.”

If you don’t know Mike Politio, Mike is a Baton Rouge native and 1984 graduate of LSU with a B.S. degree in Construction. After college, he gained valuable experience with some of the country’s largest construction firms, including Beers Construction and McDevitt & Street. In 1991, Mike stepped out on his own to launch MAPP Construction, growing the company under his leadership from “a vision” to the third-largest commercial general contractor in Louisiana. Mr. Polito is actively involved in numerous community and professional organizations; Mike has served on the Associated Builders & Contractors board and executive committees and held the office of Vice President. He is a past chairman and executive committee member of the Baton Rouge Chamber.

Read the full Business Report article NOW and share it with your friends and family.

In closing, Polito stated “For years the groups and people I have supported have spoken about wanting a bold, innovative, disruptor to recreate our school system into a successful system focused on the students and the outcomes. The prevailing question is whether our actions align with the best interests of our students or if other, less noble agendas have taken precedence.”

Do you agree with Mike? If so, sign the petition card to ask the board to reconsider the contract extension so we can keep student progress on-track.


Last Thursday, by a 5 to 4 vote, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board rejected an opportunity to continue the rapid improvement in student achievement we have seen over the past two years since the appointment of Dr. Sito Narcisse as district superintendent. The board declined to renew and extend Dr. Narcisse’s contract for four years, halting the momentum and culture of improvement that Dr. Narcisse brought to Baton Rouge schools. Without a contract extension, Dr. Narcisse’s contract will end in June.

The accomplishments the district has seen over the last two years are numerous and significant. For the first time ever, we are seeing gains for ALL students. EBR improvements include:


  • Initiated the first authentic Strategic Plan in over 20 years created in close collaboration with the Board, the public and staff.
  • Established a scorecard where families and community members can view student and school performance across the district.
  • Established the Baton Rouge Innovation Coalition with the Mayor, post-secondary schools, and community nonprofits to establish innovative technology solutions for broadband and technology.
  • Partnered with both BRPD and the Sheriff’s office to provide safe schools and a community policing model.

Student Academic Achievement

  • EBR attained significant improvements in performance indexes in 2022 SPS and DPS data:
    • K-8 and HS Assessment Index = +3.3 growth
    • K-8 Assessment Index = +3.5 growth
    • K-8 Interest & Opportunities = +2.3 growth
    • Drop Out Credit Accumulation Index = +5.4 growth
    • High School Assessment Index = +1.6 growth
    • ACT Index = +1.4 growth
  • 63 percent of district schools earned an ‘A’ or ‘B’ in Progress (Growth); 90 percent earned an ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’.
  • Mastery on LEAP assessments in elementary and middle schools with 85 percent or higher students classified as Economically Disadvantaged increased by an average of 3.66 points as compared to the state average of 3.2 points in the same metric.
  • 13 Equity or Opportunity award honorees (top 10 percent for performance among students with disabilities, English Language Leaners, or Economically Disadvantaged students – with no Intervention Required status).
  • Increased the promotion rate of first-time ninth grade students by 4 percent from the 2020-2021 school year to 2021-2022. The on-track for graduation percentage rose from 68 percent to 87 percent.

Early Childhood

  • Broadened access to preschool by adding 2,200 seats to promote early literacy and kindergarten readiness, while increasing the availability of high-quality early education for families in need through innovative and diverse delivery models.


  • Improved literacy rates through a $20 million investment in instructional materials and by hiring 53 in-school literacy coaches.
  • Working collaboratively with organizations across the city, led the project to create and begin implementation of the Literacy Blueprint which will redesign the teaching of the Science of Reading across the district.
  • Created a Department of Literacy within the district to focus and coordinate our efforts to improve literacy.


  • Balanced the budget with a $111 million surplus balance at the end of the 2022-2023 school year – the largest surplus in district history. With a healthy budget, Dr. Narcisse sought a teacher pay raise, which was denied by the board.
  • Instituted financial transparency by creating a searchable database dashboard for citizens and taxpayers.

School Choice

  • Provided full funding parity for Type 1 charter schools.
  • Created and implemented the Focus Choice model with community partners:
    • Eva Legard Center for Coastal and Environmental Studies – LSU
    • Park Elementary Medical Academy – Baton Rouge General Hospital
    • J. K. Haynes Teacher Prep and Leadership Academy – Southern University
    • Future Performing Arts Focused Choice option
  • Steered the return of Capitol High School back to EBRPS from a series of failed Recovery District selected charter operators. The school will operate as a hybrid traditional/Focus Choice school with a medical focus (a continuation from nearby Park Elementary).

Increased Student Opportunities

  • Greatly expanded opportunities for all high school students to take advanced courses for college credit (AP and dual enrollment) and industry-based certifications from about 20 percent to 80 percent, leading the nation.
  • Implemented bold programs like Focus Choice Schools and Pathways to Bright Futures to provide students the greatest scope of career and college options ever offered in East Baton Rouge.
  • Doubled down on 9th grade supports to improve the number of students on-track to graduate on time. Working with BRAC, initiated a district-wide senior internship program with one of the largest participations in the nation and it will significantly grow this year.
  • Summer academic, enrichment and athletic opportunities were greatly expanded through cooperative efforts with BREC, the YMCA and others.
  • Formal athletic programs were begun or expanded in all elementary schools for pre-K to 5th grade students.


  • First superintendent to have an outside third party conduct a districtwide salary survey which recommended a 12 percent salary increase.
  • Provided new teacher bonuses and stipends when his proposal for a permanent teacher pay raise was refused by the board.

Refusing to extend Dr. Narcisse’s contract puts all of these achievements in jeopardy. Additionally, a new superintendent search would result in lost time and opportunity, introducing instability into programs that are stable and are showing verifiable results.

Please contact the board members who voted to renew Dr. Narcisse’s contract and thank them for fighting for Baton Rouge’s students and families. They are Mark Bellue, Mike Gaudet, Dadrius Lanus, and Shashonnie Steward.

Please also contact the members who voted against the contract, asking them to reconsider their action and support the continuation of the progress we’re achieving in Baton Rouge. They are: Emily Chatelain, Carla Powell Lewis, Cliff Lewis, Nathan Rust, and Patrick Martin.

-Brigitte Nieland

Stand For Children Louisiana Government Affairs Director

Louisiana Primary Election Results

Last Saturday, October 14th 2023, Louisiana voters went to the polls to vote for a new governor and in numerous legislative and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) races. The turnout was a disappointingly low 35.8 percent, but gubernatorial candidate Jeff Landry (R), one of a field of 15 candidates, garnered 52 percent of the vote and emerged as the winner. Congratulations to Governor-elect Landry.

We at Stand for Children look forward to this administration and working with it to create more and better opportunities for Louisiana’s families. The inauguration will be held January 8.

Stand for Children endorsed candidates in select legislative races. Many thanks to the Endorsement Committee, who were STAND educator fellows and parent volunteers, for their effort in screening and interviewing candidates.

Some of the races were decided on Saturday, while other candidates are in a runoff. Those races will be decided in the November 18 general election. Congratulations to the winning candidates and thank you to all the candidates who ran in order to improve our state.


In BESE District 1, Stand endorsed current House member, Paul Hollis (R) who, with 71 percent of the vote won easily against Lauren Jewett (D), who received 29 percent.

In BESE District 2, Dr. Sharon Clark was elected when the other candidate was disqualified. Sandy Holloway was re-elected in District 3 without opposition.

In BESE District 4, Stand endorsed Stacey Melerine (R). Melerine had two opponents, Paige Hoffpauir (R) and Emma Shepard (D). Melerine received 47 percent and is in a runoff with Shepard, who received 30 percent. Hoffpauir came in third at 23 percent.

In BESE District 5, Stand endorsed current House Education Chair, Lance Harris (R). Harris ran against Toby Brazzel (R). Harris won outright with 67 percent of the vote. Brazzel received 33 percent.

In BESE District 6, Stand endorsed incumbent Ronnie Morris (R), who was challenged by Jodi Rollins (R). Morris won outright with 69 percent while Rollins received 31 percent.

In BESE District 7, Stand endorsed Erick Knezek (R), who ran against two other Republicans, Cathy Banks and Kevin Berken. Knezek is headed into a runoff with Berken. Berken led the field with 37 percent while Knezek was a close second with 34 percent. Banks came in third with 29 percent.

In BESE District 8, Stand endorsed incumbent Preston Castille (D), who was challenged by DeeDee Cormier-Zenon (D). Castille won with 70 percent while Cormier-Zenon received 30 percent.


In House District 6, Stand endorsed Michael Melerine (R) who ran against Bobby Darrow (D) and Evan McMichael (NOPTY). Melerine won outright with 68 percent of the vote. Darrow received 28 percent and McMichael 4 percent.

In House District 53, Stand Endorsed Jessica Domangue (R), who ran for an open seat against Dirk Guidry and Willis Trosclair, Jr. All of the candidates are Republicans. Domangue is in a runoff with Guidry. She received 43 percent, while Guidry received 36 percent and Trosclair 21 percent.

In House District 70, Stand endorsed Barbara Freiberg (R), the incumbent representative and member of the House Education Committee. Freiberg was in a crowded race but received 39 percent, putting her in a runoff with Steve Myers (D), who received 27 percent.

In House District 73, Stand endorsed Braville LeBlanc (R) who was running against Republicans Michael Chatellier and Kim Coates. LeBlanc came in second with 37 percent but Coates was elected outright with 54 percent. Chatelier received 9 percent.

In House District 88, Stand endorsed Willie Robinson, who ran against incumbent Kathy Edmonston and Don Schexnaydre. All three are Republicans. Edmonston was re-elected with 64 percent, while Robinson received 12 percent and Schexnaydre 24 percent.

In House District 89, Stand endorsed Kim Carver (R). Carver ran in a field of four candidates and is in a runoff with Josh Allison (R). Carver led the field with 44 percent while Allison received 27 percent.

In House District 90, Stand endorsed incumbent Mary DuBuisson (R) who ran against Heide Alejandro-Smith (LBT) and Brian Glorioso. Dubuisson is now in a runoff with Glorioso. Dubuisson received 48 percent; Glorioso received 44 percent; and Alejandro-Smith received 9 percent of the vote.

In House District 91, Stand endorsed Madison O’Malley (D) who challenged incumbent Mandie Landry (D) and Ed Carlson (D). In spite of a tough campaign and O’Malley’s high-profile endorsements, Landry was re-elected with 66 percent of the vote. O’Malley received 26 percent and Carlson 9 percent.


In Senate District 6, Stand endorsed Rick Edmonds (R), who won outright with 62 percent. Edmonds faced challenger Barry Ivey (R), who received 38 percent of the vote.

In Senate District 21, Stand endorsed Stephen Swiber (R) who ran against Robert Allain (R) and Bo LaGrange (R). Swiber ran a great race but came in third with 25 percent of the vote. Allain received 44 percent and LaGrange, 31 percent. Allain and LaGrange are in a runoff.

We will be back in November with results from the runoff.

Brigitte Nieland

Stand For Children Louisiana Government Affairs Director

Session Wrap Up

On Thursday, June 8, following a mad scramble to pass a budget and vote on other last-minute concurrences, the Legislature adjourned sine die. Included in the budget was $197 million dedicated to a teacher and support personnel bonus. Teachers will receive $2,000 and support workers, $1,000. The MFP did not pass, which means that this is a one-year appropriation but the House passed a resolution to ask BESE to include this amount when it creates next year’s MFP. Also included in funding were dollars for apprenticeships and differentiated funding for stipends for teachers who work in schools with a majority of students who are economically disadvantaged. It could also be used for courses where there are shortages. Additionally, $44 million was appropriated for early childhood education.

Though a fiscal session, there was quite a bit of activity in the education and criminal justice arenas. We are very happy to report that, due to your contacts with legislators, Stand’s primary legislative goals were achieved.

A priority bill for Stand was SB 111 by Sen. Royce Duplessis, which would provide resources for system upgrades to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information and the Louisiana Supreme Court Case Management Information System in order to make the records expungement process more efficient and less costly.

The bill was passed favorably out of four committees and passed both the Senate and House floors with large margins. On June 6, the Senate concurred in the House amendments and on June 8 the bill was sent to the Governor to be signed.

Stand worked with the NEO coalition to pass the bill, which has been introduced in the Legislature for years but has previously not been successful. A recent poll commissioned by Stand showed that the concept was very popular with Republican and Independent voters and Stand effectively communicated that message to the largely conservative members of the Legislature.

As passed, SB 111:

  • Clarifies that the legislation does not impair the use of expunged records by law enforcement particularly for the purposes of bail setting and sentencing.
  • Authorizes the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information to assign a case number to each record in its database and final dispositions for those records already eligible for expungement.
  • Beginning January 1, 2025, a defendant may make an online request for an automated expungement. The expungement must be initiated within 30 days of the receipt of the request. The expungement is then sent to the Louisiana Supreme Court Case Management Information System. Within 30 days of receipt of the request of the records, the Louisiana Supreme Court must send notice of the expungement to the clerks of Louisiana’s district courts who then transmits the information to District Attorneys, Sheriffs and arresting agencies, who must acknowledge the expungement and sequester the records.
  • The bill did not expand the list of offenses eligible for expungement.
  • The legislation may be found here

Many thanks to Sen. Duplessis and the other legislators who passed this critical bill. This legislation will allow more citizens to get jobs, housing, and better the lives of themselves and their families while helping to improve the economy via a stronger workforce. Many thanks also to all of you who reached out to legislators throughout the committee and floor processes to support SB 111. Your contacts worked.

A second priority bill was SB 177 by Sen. Patrick McMath. This bill provides for high-dosage tutoring for students who score less than proficient in reading and/or math on state tests. The bill easily passed in both the House and Senate but a late amendment which would have gutted the bill threw the bill into Conference Committee. Fortunately, with little time to spare, the Conference Committee deleted the bad amendment and the Conference Committee report was accepted by both chambers.

In other legislation previously reported on:

  • HB 164 by Rep. Kenny Cox which would have lowered from 17 to 15 the required ACT score to qualify for a TOPS-Tech award. TOPS-Tech is a merit-based scholarship and lowering the ACT would result in watering down standards. When the bar is lowered, too often students do not get the specialized attention they may need to be successful. The bill garnered substantial opposition, including Stand, and it died in the Appropriations Committee.
  • Stand supported HB 462 by Rep. Rick Edmonds which would require public school governing authorities to post fiscal information on their websites. HB 462 passed in both chambers and has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
  • Stand also supported HB 242 by Rep. Stephanie Hilferty which would prohibit any form of corporal punishment in public schools unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent for the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline for the child. It also requires the state Dept. of Education to create the document with which a parent would provide consent each school year. This bill prohibits any form of corporal punishment for students with exceptionalities. SB 242 passed the Legislature and has been sent to the Governor.
  • In an effort to improve Louisiana students’ math performance, Rep. Richard Nelson introduced HB 326, a bill that Stand supported that would require foundational numeracy skills standards as a component of teacher education programs. SB 163 by Sen. Sharon Hewitt also passed. This bill requires numeracy professional development for certain teachers.
  • Stand opposed SB 71 by Sen. Joe Bouie which would have put duplicative (with existing law) requirements on Learning Pods. It would also have require that Pods provide transportation, though some pods are created and operated by charter schools, which are not required to provide transportation. This bill was not needed and was a transparent effort to harm this innovative public school initiative. Thanks to all of you who took action to defeat this bill. It was killed in the Senate by a vote of 15-23.
  • Bills of interest that Stand followed but did not take a position on included HB 12 by Rep. Richard Nelson, which prohibits promotion to the 4th grade for students whose reading deficiencies have not been remedied by the end of 3rd grade; and SB 197 by Sen. Barrow Peacock and SB 81 by Sen. Patrick McMath, both of which changed teacher certification requirements to allow certain people to teach before they become certified.

Session has concluded,

Brigitte Nieland

Stand For Children Louisiana Government Affairs Director

It is so incredibly disappointing that this board has not followed through on its promise of executing a long-term contract for Dr. Sito Narcisse. As a result, he is now in consideration for the Broward County, Florida Superintendent job. Here is a partial list of Dr. Narcisse’s tremendous accomplishments in just two years leading the East Baton Rouge Parish School District:

• 2,200 additional quality preschool seats

• a $20 million investment in instructional materials and 53 new literacy coaches to boost third grade reading

• Focus Choice Schools and Pathways to Bright Futures that are providing students the greatest scope of career and college preparation options ever offered in East Baton Rouge

• Innovative programming that has lifted the percentage of student who finish their make-or-break ninth grade year on-track to graduate on time from 67% to 84%

• Balanced budget for two years in a row with a $111 million surplus balance at the end of the 2022-2023 school year – the largest surplus in district history – with a promised teacher pay raise

• $80 million from EBR voters through four millage renewals this spring for student resources and teacher raises

Despite these tremendous strides forward for students, educators, and our community, the board has not ensured Dr. Narcisse will stay long-term.


After years of drift and because of Dr. Narcisse’s student-centered effective leadership, we are FINALLY seeing gains for ALL students in Baton Rouge. Fear, reluctance to change, and a refusal to acknowledge the strong gains being made – in spite of the facts and data – by some board members may, yet again, let our students and community down.
Our students deserve better, and we DEMAND better.

We call upon board leadership to take immediate action to execute a contract with Dr. Narcisse that assures our school district has the sustained, effective leadership we sorely need. Dr. Narcisse

Thank you for Standing with us,

Carrie Griffin Monica,

Stand for Children Louisiana Executive Director

Last week was the first full week of legislative committee meetings and it wasn’t long before the House and Senate took up important and sometimes controversial legislation. All bills and committee agendas may be found on the legislative website at or the #LA LEGE app.

Last Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee, two bills that Stand is tracking were heard.

· SB 150 (Sen. Robert Mills) would create The Louisiana Literacy Advisory Commission within the State Department of Education. It was reported favorably as amended.

· SB 197 (Sen. Peacock) would revise teacher certification requirements such as the required 2.2 GPA for entrance into a teacher education program. If a student does not have the mandatory GPA, if this bill passes the student could still enter a program on a conditional basis. It also would allow a certification candidate who did not pass PRAXIS examinations to be issued a conditional teaching certificate. SB 197 was reported favorably as amended.

On Thursday, the House Education Committee met and reported favorably HB 191 (Rep. Jefferson), which would add in statute that a teacher providing instruction in a public school but not employed by the public school governing authority may be credited with his years of teaching if he is performing services for the school pursuant to a corporate contract with a company approved by BESE to provide these services and he receives a successful evaluation according to BESE policy. Stand LEAD Fellow Tibberly ______ testified in support of the bill.

This week is a very full week of committee activity. Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary C Committee will hear SB 111 (Rep. Duplessis), which would provide resources to update the technology systems at the Louisiana Supreme Court and State Police. With updated technology, expungement of criminal records of those already eligible will be more streamlined which would lessen the cost and make the process more efficient. Stand strongly supports this legislation, which would allow more citizens to get jobs, housing, and better the lives of themselves and their families while helping to improve the economy. Keep an eye out for Stand’s Action Alert requesting contacts to Judiciary C members in support of SB 111.

The House Education Committee will meet twice this week, with both days having full agendas. On Tuesday, Stand will be present to oppose HB 164 (Rep. Cox) which would lower from 17 to 15 the required ACT score to qualify for a TOPS-Tech award. TOPS-Tech is a merit-based scholarship and lowering the ACT would result in watering down standards. When standards are lowered, too often students do not get the specialized attention they may need to be successful.

We will also be there to support HB 462 (Rep. Edmonds) which would require public school governing authorities to post fiscal information on their websites.

On Wednesday, Stand will support HB 242 (Rep. Hilferty) which would prohibit any form of corporal punishment in public schools unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent for the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline for his child. Requires the state Dept. of Education to create the document with which a parent would provide consent each school year. This bill prohibits any form of corporal punishment for students with exceptionalities.

Stay tuned for Action Alerts and Updates!

The Louisiana legislative session convened at noon on Monday, April 10. Following Gov. John Bel Edwards’s State of the State speech, both the House and Senate began the process of introducing, or “reading in” bills. To date, 608 House Bills have been filed, 23 House Concurrent Resolutions, and 25 House Resolutions. In the Senate, 220 Senate Bills were filed, 15 Senate Concurrent Resolutions, and 21 Senate Resolutions. Thus far, Stand is tracking 99 bills of interest but that number could increase. Legislators have until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 to introduce bills. As this is a fiscal session, the number of bills of a general nature that a legislator may introduce is limited to five. No Education Committee meetings were held in either chamber, but Department of Education officials presented their proposed 2024 Fiscal Year budget to the House Appropriations Committee (HB 1 by Rep. Zee Zeringue) on Tuesday, April 11.

The budget includes the $4.031B MFP for the 2023/2024 School Year submitted by BESE (SCR 2 by Sen. Cleo Fields). The Legislature cannot amend BESE’s requested funding resolution, it can only approve or reject it. If a new MFP is not approved, the formula reverts to the prior year’s. The MFP, as approved by BESE on March 8, includes $196,479,514 for teacher salary increases of $2,000 for certificated teachers and $1,000 for support personnel. (If the Revenue Estimating Conference recognizes additional state dollars, that number could increase to $3,000 for teachers and $1,500 for support staff.)

The proposed MFP adds an additional $61M block grant for differentiated teacher compensation. Under this grant, school systems would be given the flexibility to pay teachers stipends if they meet designated specific needs such as teaching in critical shortage areas or in high needs schools (those with an economically disadvantaged student population of 85% or higher). Further, this MFP includes $21.5M to help systems meet operational costs such as employee health insurance and retirement.The Department of Education will be in Senate Finance Committee today, April 17. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Interested citizens may watch any hearing or floor action livestreamed via the legislative website or on the newly launched free app LA LEGE.

The Senate has not yet released next week’s Education Committee agenda, but they are expected to meet on Wednesday. The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 20. Please click to see the agenda.A key bill of interest on the agenda is HB 191 by Rep. Patrick Jefferson. HB 191 is a bill requested by the Department of Education which would change state teacher certification requirements. This proposal could give credit for experience in teaching out-of-state, in nonpublic schools, or in a public school via a contract with an approved company if other requirements are met. It also would align traditional and alternate teacher education programs re reading and literacy competencies.

Stay tuned for updates as session progresses. And, for some bills, we’ll reach out to you and ask that you contact legislators to support or oppose them. Contacts from their constituents have a major impact on a bill’s outcome.

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.


To learn more about the good things going on in EBR and what’s still coming, please visit

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.


October 29, 2022

Contact: Brigitte Nieland

Phone: 225-603-5668

Email: [email protected]


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 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