Hurricane Press-Oct 6, 1995
(Copied from news format and formated for web site)
NCHS Headlines the Daily World
by Reynard Eaglin,Jr.
North Central Principal Fired
Duplechain named to NCHS, Board Moves Teacher Out
North Central Opens , Meeting New Principal
North Central Students Protest Teacher Transfer
North Central Teacher Transfer Remains in Place
NCHS Job Actions Protested
Boy ! Has North Central made the headlines of the Daily World lately. Over the summer, while most of us were staying out of the heat, Mr. Milton Ambres and Mr. Abul Pitre were feeling the burn of the St. Landry Parish School Board.
In Part I we are going to discuss the board's decision concerning Mr. Ambres, in Part II the transfer of Mr. Pitre, and in Part III student reaction. So let us begin our three part journey of good and bad decisions, politics, and best interests.
On August 10, 1995, the board voted 8-4 (with one member absent) to approve the superintendent's decision to terminate Ambres' contract following a 13 hour public hearing.
The Daily World stated that Ambres, who has been North Central's principal since March 1991 said that he believes the termination of his contract was racially motivated. "If I had been white with the same charges, this would've been a different story," said Ambres. Ambres said that he thinks black employees are judged on a different set of standards. (continued on pg.2)
(continued from Pg. 1)
The motion to approve the superintendent's recommendation was made by Board Member Lottie Beebe of District 5, the district which includes North Central High School.In the same article the Daily World quoted Ambres as saying, " I don't know what her (Beebe's) motive was," said Ambres, "but I guess she did what she had to do. I don't know what I did to get out of her favor, though."
Mr. Abul Pitre transferred
The removal of Mr. Abul Pitre from North Central has been the most talked about situation throughout the past month.
During the August 17, 1995 School Board Meeting, Mr. Abul Pitre a certified social studies teacher was transferred to Opelousas High School where he is presently teaching special education
According to an article in the Daily world on August 17, 1995," The issue of the teacher who was transferred, Abul Pitre, caused several community leaders to speak out at Thursday's regular board meeting claiming the decision was based on race."
Luther Hill, president of the St. Landry NAACP, was quoted as saying, "I think the school board either needs to close North Central down or make the school operate as a school."
Daily world reported that Board member Charles Ross opposed the transfer of Pitre as well as the placement of Duplechain at North Central.
" I think Abul Pitre has done a commendable job at North Central High School, and I don't believe he should be taken out of his teaching area," Ross said. "We are going to get into trouble if we go singling out an individual for whatever reason," he added.
According to a recent article in the Daily World, District 5 Board Member Lottie Beebe, who is the board member for North Central, said that she wanted to clarify that she did not make the recommendation to transfer Pitre and that the superintendent did. In the same article, Superintendent J. Ryan Fontenot said that the reason he made the recommendation to replace Pitre at North Central was based on the following two reasons:
*By law, the board is required to search for certified teachers, and Pitre is being replaced by a certified teacher.
*Pitre was involved in harmful operations at North Central, namely, a recent boycott of the football players.
by Reynard Eaglin, Jr.
When students disagree with the decisions made at school, what do they do? Here at North Central we protest.
The decision made by the school board caused an uproar on Wednesday, August 24, 1995. At 12:45 p.m., about 55 blacks and 10 whites walked out to voice their concerns to the Daily World and television channels: 3, 5, and 10 about their favorite teacher Mr. Pitre.
The students had posters which expressed their honest opinions about Mr. Pitre. One poster read, "Mr. Pitre has gotten scholarships for our young men," which is true. In the 1993-1994 school year he got a scholarship for David Johnson to attend Alcorn state University. Also, in the1994-1995 school year he went the extra mile to get Herbert Doucett III a scholarship to Miles College.
Mr. Pitre was a teacher whom all students could relate to on some level or another. He gave inspiration to those who were doing things they shouldn't have been doing, to do things they should. "He brought together the rival comunities of Washington, Melville, Palmetto, and Morrow and taught them there are other ways of getting recognized instead of winning a fight, " said Shawna Offord. Mr. Pitre encouraged student involvement in the Black History Quiz Bowl, Social Studies Fair, in academics as well as in athletics. "Mr. Pitre did nothing that did not benefit the school," said Franchesca Gordon, a senior. Alicia Bowman also a senior added, " Mr. Pitre was more than qualified to teach the students. I feel like the school board should listen to the students and quit putting people in positions they are not qualified for."
The board's decision was "totally unacceptable," according to Parent-Teacher organization President Rev. Dale Fontenot. "We wanted to start the year off in a positive manner, but we were slapped in the face today," he said.
Slapped in the face is an understatement. The school board sets up a school, throws in communities from Morrow, Melville, Palmetto, and Washington, gives us stepchild treatment, and removes a positive inspiration and role model. Punched in the face is more like it.
Despite the protests, meetings with the school board, and student organized walkouts, Mr. Pitre is still at O.H.S. teaching special education. Has the school board won? Well, it's not over 'till the fat lady sings and she's still catching z's.
by Byrd Adams
Teen Institute is a week long conference held the weekend of July 23-28. Each year the conference is held at a different college across the state of Louisiana. This year it was held at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. The Teen Institute experience includes emphasis on self-esteem, positive peer relationships, leadership skills, and education on the effects of drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse. It has grown annually from 150 youth participants in 1991 to 400 participants in 1995.
Team leaders were selected from each region. North Central was listed in Region IV along with other schools from St. Landry , Lafayette, Iberia, and other parishes statewide. Team leaders selected from our region were Mrs. Linda Haynes and Mrs. Melanie Doucet. They had to be at least 25 years of age, willing to make a commitment to provide support and guidance to planning and delivering the prevention programs, and they had to be someone familiar with the local school systems.
Two sophomores, three juniors, and four seniors from North Central participated in this conference. Marcus Blueitt and Byrd Adams were the sophomores representatives. Joseph Doucet, Daphanie Duplechain and Sharonda Randallwere the junior representatives. Daphanie was voted on the TI staff this pass summer. Mervin Cane, Rheadacia Thomas, Raven Rideau, and Ledricika Johnson, all seniors, will probably be going back next year as college advisors.
Students who attended this conference had to make a commitment to serve as an active team member and plan and deliver alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs. They also had to be in grades 10, 11, or 12 during the 1995-1996 school year currently earning passing grades with good leadership potential. While on campus, they were placed in separate dormitories. They were not allowed to leave without permission from someone in charge.
On campus students attended classes for three days, getting education on drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse. These classes included: FAE/FAS Education, Operation Prom/Graduation Campaign, Red Ribbon Week and 3-D Prevention Month, Self Esteem Building, AIDS Education Week and others. To afford the crowding of classrooms each region took class with people from their region and their region only.
Besides classes there were other activities planned for the week. These included music, mass media, drama, and movement. A picnic and recreations were planned also. Recreation was either swimming, skating, basketball, or other choices. Those students who participated in special Interest groups had to take part in TI (Teen Institute) Live, which was held Thursday before the dance later that night.
Friday was a sad day for some but glad for others because it was Closing Ceremonies' Day. It was time to say good-bye to new and old friends. After closing ceremonies were held that morning, everyone packed up their belongings and said their final good-byes.
Hurricane Press Staff-Shemika Vaughn, Reynard Eaglin, Jr. Brandi Vaughn, Lashondra Jones,and Byrd Adams.
by Byrd Adams
Emma Adams, Matasha Thomas, Marlo Tezeno, Shanon Mason, and Eugena Washington have been friends since they first met in fourth grade in Melville Elementary School. When one of them depended on the other, she was always there. If a conflict came between them, they never let it affect their long-shared friendship. They always talked their problems out and share a bond which they say no one can break. They never let anyone or anything come between them, and for this reason
they are best friends to this very day. One last thing..... They would like to mention that they are graduating class of 1999. Good luck in the future!
Time-out With Hurricane's Head Coach
by Reynard Eaglin, Jr.
Another football season has begun and North Central High Hurricanes are ready .
At the Jamboree Westminister was made shame by a score of 21 zip. The Hurricanes also shut out Davidson, Sacred Heart, Catholic P.C.,and Northwest. The Hurricanes proved to these teams that you can benefit from your mistakes. Although they lost to Basile on September 15, 1995, Coach Fontentot says he feels that the team has done real well. "The players are more willing than in the past," he said. When asked about what directions the team was headed for, Fontenot said, "As a team we would like to have a winning season, win district and get into the playoffs."
I asked Coach Fontenot what he hoped to accomplish as a coach, He said, "School pride, unity for all the students that might want to play in the future. I would like to see my team in the playoffs so they could feel the excitement of a playoff game."
Coach Fontenot says the downfall of the Hurricanes is the "lack of players." "More young men are needed, I'd like to invite everybody to give it a try next year," he said.
Sept. 1 NCHS / Davidson 28 - 0
Sept. 8 NCHS / Sacred Heart 18 - 0
Sept. 15 NCHS / Basile 0 - 34
Sept. 22 NCHS / Catholic P.C. 16 - 0
Sept. 29 NCHS / Northwest 26 - 0
by Brandi Vaughn
Marcus Duane Blueitt #22
Marcus Bluiett a sophomore this year at North Central High School, is one of our football players. He is expecting a great football season. He plays football just for the love of the game. Basically, Marcus feels that it's a team thing. In the first three games, Marcus has made 5 touchdowns, kicked extra points, and had a 2 point conversion. He is also the team leading receiver. The pressure of the game used to affect him, but now he feels that the key is just to think about winning and to keep a clear head. In the past, Marcus says that he was only worried about football, so he would only get by with a 1.5 grade point average. But now he knows that the books are more important. Without the grades you are nowhere. Marcus believes it is very important to think about an eduction, because without one you are nowhere. Looking forward to his future, Marcus's plans are to go to college and play football.
Fredrick Aaron Jenkins #1
Fredrick Aaron Jenkins #1, a sophomore at North Central High, is our starting quarterback. He is expecting a great football season. He plays football for the love of the game, and that's why he enjoys it. So far this season, Frederick has had five touchdown passes and 449 yards passing in the first four games. Fredrick feels that if he does well enough, it could really become a career. He would like to go to the pros. He's also planning on getting a scholarship, but he feels he is not really depending on it. He also feels that playing football attracts many fans, mostly girls, but for him it's a one "woman thang". He doesn't let personal life interfere with the game. He feels the game takes his mind off of home problems. During the game the main key is to think about winning and play to win.He feels you also need an education. It's a down into the "brain thang" better known as books. He feels if you get hurt you may not have football but a good education.
by Shameka Vaughn
A.R.E. stands for Accelerated Recovery Education which is a second chance for students who have not been achieving in the normal school setting. This program has been in effect for four years. It helps any student ages 13 through 17 who has failed two or more years with academic capabilities. These students come from Morrow, Palmetto, Melville, and Washington. Students enter the program to get another chance to advance themselves to their proper grade level. Through this program students can advanced from 5th to 7th grade,6th to 8th grade, and also from 7th to 9th grade.This program can be made interesting most by students who are interested in learning and their determination to succeed.
This program has been positively progressing because more sites have been added at Eunice and Beau Chene . It is excelling in many areas and many students have sucessfully been placed in their proper grade with good learning abilitiesThere has been a few weaknesses in the program during it's four years such as lack of computers, funds, and not being financially able to take the students on class field trips.
The program has been successful, is successful, and will continue to be successful. Parents and teachers are realizing that if a child is provided with a different environment and is given the opportunity to learn new behaviors, develop positive self-esteem, and be provided with guided and independent learning experiences, that a child can meet with academic success as well as develop socially and emotionally.
by Byrd Adams
FHA (Future Homemakers of America) Theme: Invest in Youth
FHA had it's first club meeting on September14,1995 in Mrs. Hayes' s classroom. There are 20 members present now. Dues are $8.50 and to be paid to Mrs. Hayes. Only Family and Consumer Sciences students may join. FHA is looking forward to a great year. They are planning to attend the parish, district, and state meeting. The parish meeting will be held in Lakes Charles and the state meeting will be in Baton Rouge. This year FHA's Star Event will be held at North Central.
SAPE' ( Substances Abuse Prevention Education )
SAPE' had its first club meeting on September 14,1995 in Mrs. Haynes 's classroom. Dues are $5.00 and to be paid to Mrs. Haynes by the week of October1. Anyone interested in joining must be willing to help people of their community understand the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse. Trips are being planned but where has not been decided.
4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health)
Dues of $3.00 are to be paid to Mrs. Beard by October 5, 1995. National 4-H week is week of October1-7.
Beta is a non-profit organization for grades 9-12 .Senior Beta is strictly by invitation . A National membership fee of $10.00 is paid only once after you join. Beta is for someone with good character, good leadship skills, and willing to do charitable work for a non-profit organization. The school determines the grade point average, but you should have at least a 3.0 or better.
FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
Students interested in joining FBLA must be in a business class, or have taken one . Membership fees are $10.00 and must be paid to Mr. Porche by September 28,1995.