Karen Vidrine (left) takes the oath of office administered by Assistant District Attorney Betsy Jackson (right) during last Wednesday’s Evangeline Parish School Board meeting. Vidrine replaced her husband, Darren Vidrine, who resigned from his position due to health reasons. (Gazette photo by Elizabeth West)

EPSB welcomes new school board member

By: ELIZABETH WEST
Managing Editor

The Evangeline Parish School Board opened its Wednesday night meeting with a new school board member being sworn into office.
The ceremony was prompted by an announcement that Darren Vidrine has decided to step down from his position on the board due to health reasons; and, that he had requested for his wife, Karen, to be allowed to finish out the remainder of his current term.
After being sworn in by Assistant District Attorney Betsy Jackson, Karen was then accepted a plaque on behalf of her husband from Superintendent Darwan Lazard as a thank you for his service on the board.
An election will be held for all board members, including for Darren’s former seat, this November.
The board then heard from Mamou High Principal Liz Chatelain, who introduced her school’s new social media team. The group, according to Chatelain, will be in charge of informing the public about the positive things happening at MHS.
Chatelain then shared with the board that MHS had been awarded a $5,000 grant for technology through Centurylink. This is the second time that MHS has been selected to receive this grant, and this year’s money, the principal said, will be used to purchase Chrome Books for classrooms.
Following Chatelain, Maintenance Supervisor Jason Hazelton addressed the board to announce which school’s custodians had been chosen to receive a $25 Walmart gift card for having the cleanest campus for the final quarter of the school year.
Hazelton shared that, in the big school category, Pine Prairie High’s custodians won, while the winner for the small school category was Chataignier Elementary.
The maintenance supervisor also informed the board that over the school year, his department was able to reduce fire marshal deficiencies at schools across the parish by 76.5 percent.
Finally, during the superintendent’s comments, Lazard clarified that Monday, May 28, will be an instructional day for students. The reason, Lazard said, was “because we were out of school so many days for weather.”
According to Lazard, the state mandates 63,720 instructional minutes for student during one school year and 182 work days for instructors.
Therefore, to meet state requirements, students will have school on Memorial Day.
Other items approved:
Low bid in the amount of $10,945 from Jeanmard, Inc. for a metal pavilion for the STEM program at Chataignier Elementary.

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