Monday, September 12th was the most anticipated day in Livingston Parish Public school history. Every teacher in our parish was overjoyed to FINALLY see our babies! We have been out of school for a month due to the devastation of severe flooding in our area. Our classrooms have been so lonely without our students and we have eagerly anticipated their return. Not only were the teachers smiling as the buses pulled up for the “second” 1st day of school, but the students were grinning from ear to ear so thrilled to have some normalcy in their lives. In fact during class, one of my students stated that he had never been so excited to work on a Bellringer sheet in his life. We are happy that they are happy and we are soon to see better days!
The teachers of Livingston Parish are truly one of a kind. We are the lifeblood of our schools and I am so honored to be a part of a school district that contains a vast amount of educators that are in it for the right reason…..the kids! You see, our school district has witnessed perhaps the most terrible days in the history of our school system and parish. We have 15 schools that have taken on water with several of those having extensive damage. Over 2000 of our 3800 employees have been displaced in addition to 1000’s of our students and parents. Instead of letting this disaster break our spirits, we rose to the occasion and began working to rebuild. I was lucky enough to help many teachers at flooded schools clean and restore their classrooms and I was blown away by how many teachers were working so diligently to have everything just right for when the kids returned, but yet chose to take care of their classroom before their own home. That type of passion is honorable! It was hard for the teachers to see years of their hard work destroyed so quickly. Tears were shed but they found comfort in being surrounded by such a large support system that did anything and everything to meet their needs.
Many of our schools are following a platoon schedule and hosting other schools on their campus. It’s incredible to see rivalries set aside and kindness expressed from one school’s student body to another’s. If you look closely, there is beauty in this flood. That beauty is found in the unity of members of our community, the strength of our teachers and the resilience of our students. We are Livingston Parish PROUD and Louisiana STRONG!
“We triumph even in our troubles, knowing that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope—a hope which never disappoints us, since God’s love floods our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:3, 5)