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Hamlin addresses EPSB for final time

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Outgoing Evangeline Parish School Board Superintendent Toni Hamlin hugs board member Wayne Dardeau after he presented her with a plaque at Wednesday’s meeting. (Gazette photo by Elizabeth West)

By: ELIZABETH WEST
Associate Editor

Wednesday night was the last time Toni Hamlin addressed the Evangeline Parish School Board as their school district’s superintendent, and before the meeting’s end, the board took time to express their appreciation for all that Hamlin has done during her 40-year career in the Evangeline Parish school system.
The school board’s president Wayne Dardeau said, “It has been a long road, and as a board we appreciate what you have done for Evangeline Parish, not only for the teachers and supervisors but for the assistant superintendent as well. You won’t be forgotten.
“We really do appreciate where you brought the parish from where it was A lot of that credit goes on your shoulders. You were a very effective leader.”
Board member Bobby “Doc” Deshotel also echoed those same feeling.
During the meeting, the long time school board member from Basile said, “I have served under many superintendents, and in my opinion you are the best.”
Along with expressing their gratitude the board also presented Hamlin with a plaque to commemorate her 10 years as the Superintendent of Schools in Evangeline Parish.
Following the presentation of the plaque, Hamlin took a moment to say a few words.
The superintendent said, “It has been a privilege to work with you all. I want to commend both this staff and the board on the fact that because we kept our focus on what we were here for, which is to better this educational system and to provide more opportunities for our students, we offer more opportunity for students today. We offer more today then we did 10 years ago.”
At the meeting Hamlin also expressed her satisfaction with the board’s decision to name current assistant superintendent Darwan Lazard as Hamlin’s replacement.
Hamlin said, “I want to publicly say how delighted I am that y’all selected Mr. Lazard to be the next superintendent.”
She also stated, “You have a man of integrity and a man of principal. The staff respects him, and the principals respect him, so I think it is going to be great.”
Lazard will assume the position of superintendent in January 2017.
Other items approved at the meeting were:
• Authorization of the superintendent/assistant superintendent to accept the low quote for a new roof for Bayou Chicot Elementary School gymnasium and proceed with replacement of the roof using parishwide maintenance funds.
• Permission to use school facilities for EPYB (Evangeline Parish Youth Basketball) and Lil Dribblers programs for the school year 2016-2017.
• Wayne Dardeau elected as the board’s president. Scott Limoges elected as the board’s vice president, and Georgiana Wilson elected to replace Arthur Savoy on the executive committee.
• Accept the low bid of $31,700.00 from AES Environmental Services for Asbestos removal from a Basile High School building.
• Accept the low bid of $65,496.00 from May’s Heating and Cooling for a HVAC Unit at Basile High School.

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