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Mamou Elementary makes classroom improvements

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Evamgeline School Superintendant Toni Hamlin, center; Mamou Elementary Principal Troy Fontenot and Assistant Superintendant Darwan Lazard, second and third from left; school board members David Landreneau, Darren Vidrine and Buck Dupre, in rear; and Mamou Elementary school teachers are shown in one of the improved classrooms on Wednesday, July 17.

Thirteen classrooms in the Mamou Elementary third- and fourth-grade classroom building and seven in the first- and second-grade classroom building have had improvements made in a three-phase project being coordinated by the Evangeline Parish School District.
The project, now in its second phase, began after the school district, under a court order, directed its resources to making improvements to Ville Platte High School from the fall of 2007 to the fall of 2011.
The 13 third- and fourth-grade classrooms at Mamou Elementary have new lighting fixtures and new drop ceilings where beams and insulation were visible before. The seven first- and second-grade classrooms have new lighting in the current phase of the school district’s improvement project. The current, second phase costs about $39,000.
The first phase included replacing windows and doors at the two-story Bayou Chicot Elementary School building and at Mamou High School. That cost about $375,000.
Much of the funds for the improvements come from sales of timber on school-district-owned land. Plans for phase three, now being finalized, include patching school driveways.
Other new activities at Mamou Elementary include a new newsletter that will be distributed during the next school year. Mamou Elementary Principal Troy Fontenot also organized a student flower garden project at the school. Assistant Superintendent Darwan Lazard commended Fontenot’s leadership in making improvements at the school. Fontenot will begin his third year as principal when the school year begins next month.
Superintendent Toni Hamlin said teachers have given strong support for the improvement project because “they take a lot of pride in their classrooms.” She said she and her staff are trying to get parents in the parish more involved in their children’s education.
Results of student tests required by the state already show improvements. “A lot of good things are happening,” she said, as she anticipates improvements in state assessments of school districts that will be released in late September or early October.

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