The Morehouse Parish School Board meeting Thursday night was standing room only as Student and Teacher of the Year plaques were to be handed out.
Dr. George Noflin Jr., superintendent, recognized the schools with the highest attendance for the month of February in both faculty and staff and student categories. Oak Hill elementary had the highest percentage of staff to have perfect attendance for the month, at 99.65 percent. Delta Jr. High School had the best attendance of students for February, with 95.94 percent. The employee of the month was paraprofessional Betty Morrison, who works at Cherry Ridge Elementary.
Students of the year were Corey Atkins, fifth grade student at Delta Jr. High; Mollie Bloundin, eighth grade student at Morehouse Magnet School and Rachael Lara, twelfth grade student at Bastrop High School. The Teachers of the Year were Danny McMillian, Bastrop High School; Rebecca Freeland, Bastrop Learning Academy; Crystal Mathes, Cherry Ridge Elementary; Priscilla Dean, Delta Jr. High; Arthurnese Nimmer , H.V. Adams; Terri Stephens, Morehouse Magnet; Emily Gregory, Morehouse Jr. High; Camille Linder, Oak Hill; Shadonna Bethea, Pine Grove and Stephanie Miller, Beekman.
Dr. Noflin asked to address the board and all in attendance regarding a decision made in the United States District Court, which effected the school board and parish as a whole.
"I am happy to announce that on Feb. 28, 2013, the United States District Court granted the Morehouse Parish School Board complete unitary status," Noflin said. " And, on March 4, 2013, Judge Robert G. James approved our complete unitary status."
In Aug., 1969, the Morehouse Parish School Board was placed under a desegregation order by the United States Dept. of Justice, along with about one half of the schools in La. The status of complete unitary means A school district has eliminated the effects of past segregation to the extent practicable. When courts declare a school system unitary, the court system no longer supervises the school system’s student assignment and other decisions.
"Although this is a very historic event that Morehouse Parish School Board has waited 40 years to obtain, it is incumbent upon us to learn from the past so that we do not repeat it," Noflin continued. "We must be diligent in ensuring equality and equity in our dealings for faculty and staff, but more importantly for the children that we serve in the Morehouse Parish School System."