Apr 14, 2014

Discussions to Focus on Changes in Curriculum and Professional Development made by Districts

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Department of Education’s Network Team Leaders will be in the Rotunda of the State Capitol today, starting at 1:00 p.m., to share with state legislators the progress individual districts have made over the past several years in curriculum development and teacher training. The Network Team Leaders, all former Louisiana school district administrators, will provide legislators with information regarding progress that has been made in each one of the state’s 69 school systems. For the past two years, Network Teams have supported district and school administrators through direct, on-the-ground consultation, technical assistance, training, and planning.

“Districts have done outstanding work to both raise the bar for our students and increase their achievement,” said State Superintendent John White. “ That’s something we cannot let get lost in amidst the rhetoric of political debate.  We want to bring classroom successes to the State Capitol. This is a day to celebrate the efforts of our school systems in raising the bar.”

Specifically, the Network Team leaders will be on hand to share information with legislators about the following local school system activities:

  • Curriculum planning – training and professional development for teachers, curriculum support, instructional materials, and assessments to measure student learning
  • Technology readiness – progress made to support technology in the classroom, including devices, broadband Internet, and network infrastructure
  • District planning – state support of district leadership to conduct long-term planning for success

The Department’s Network Team leaders include:

Warren Drake
Former superintendent of Zachary Community School District, principal of Tara High School and assistant principal of Broadmoor and Zachary High Schools. Drake's Network Team includes Allen, Ascension, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, DeSoto, East Feliciana, Jefferson Davis, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. James, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes.

Kerry Laster
Former teacher, reading specialist, principal, curriculum coordinator and district superintendent for Concordia Parish; recipient of the Louisiana Principal of the Year, the Louisiana Reading Association’s Principal of the Year, Fulbright Memorial Scholarship Recipient, Louisiana PTA Educator of Distinction, and the U.S. Department of Education/National Association of Elementary Principals’ Excellence in Education Award. Laster's Network Team includes Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, Grant, LaSalle, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Webster, and Winn Parishes.

Gayle Sloan
Former teacher, school administrator and superintendent of St. Tammany Parish School System; 2009 Louisiana Superintendent of the Year, and former president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. Sloan's Network Team includes East Baton Rouge, Evangeline, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Landry, Washington Parishes.

Melissa Stilley
Former chief academic officer for the Tangipahoa Parish School System, overseeing special education, educational technology, federal programs, and K-12 curriculum and instruction. Stilley's Network Team includes Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, and West Carroll Parishes.

Francis Touchet
Former principal of Erath High School, one of the top performing public high schools in the state; 2011 Vermilion Parish High School Principal of the Year. Touchet's Network Team includes Acadia, Assumption, Avoyelles, Iberia, Lafourche, Rapides, Tangipahoa, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne Parishes.

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