Return to Headlines

St. Bernard Parish Schools Kicks Off The School Year Fostering Legacy of Learning

St. Bernard Parish Schools Kicks Off The School Year Fostering Legacy of Learning


Chalmette, LA - The St. Bernard Parish Public School System kicked off the school year with its recent Back-to-School Rally with Legacy of Learning as its theme. The annual event, held each year at the Frederick Sigur Civic Center, brings together over 900 of the district’s employees for this welcome ceremony and pep rally.


After a rousing rendition of the National Anthem sung by educators from across the district and a quick welcome from the 2023 Louisiana Elementary Student of the Year Jack McMullin, Superintendent Doris Voitier introduced the members of the St. Bernard Parish School Board. Vice President Katherine Lemoine shared a moment of reflection followed by some remarks from Board President Diana Dysart who recognized the importance of a unified approach to educating children. “We acknowledge and appreciate that for every child in the classroom, there are teams of adults who made these opportunities possible.”


To emphasize that point, board members shared a video to highlight the programs that support learning including food services, transportation, and maintenance. Employees who earned perfect attendance last year were also acknowledged for their daily commitment. 


Voitier used her time on stage to talk about some of the district’s priorities this year including school safety, literacy, and professional development.  Voitier also paid kudos to teacher Justin Templet, last year’s Louisiana High School Teacher of the Year who was awarded a Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship - one of two given in the entire state. “This $50,000 endowment will be utilized to create a writing center. The Owl Writing Lab is a designated space on Chalmette High School’s main campus available to all students enrolled to fully realize their potential as writers.”


Voitier also connected Templet’s success with the district’s theme. “It’s interesting to note that Justin was a high school senior the year of Hurricane Katrina, and the editor of the yearbook, Reflections. Now, he is an award-winning educator giving back to the place that has given him so much. He is truly creating a legacy of literacy.”


As it does each year, the program also included a number of light-hearted videos, stressing the day’s theme. Parodies ranged from Hairspray to The Office. In the latter, Voitier was joined by Assistant Superintendent Mary Lumetta for a lively award show, shining the spotlight on a wide array of the district’s many successful people and programs. The last award was a touching tribute to Pam Cassar, a brilliant teacher and costume designer who passed away earlier this year.   


 Voitier closed the program with a feel good montage of photos and social media posts - reminders of the impact school people make each day on children. “So many good things happen every day that deserve to be celebrated, please help us in our goal to push the positive - to share the good things and the tiny miracles that are a part of our daily successes. Together, we can change our community in a positive, meaningful way - one day and one child at a time. That is how we will build on our legacy of learning.”