There were two members of Coushatta’s First Methodist Church who are graduates this year. One graduated from Red River High School. The other graduated from Northwestern State University.
The graduates were honored during regular Sunday morning worship. Afterward they joined members of the congregation for lunch in the fellowship hall.
Kaylee Antilley graduated at the top of her class at Red River High School. She was one of two co-salutatorians. Antilley was also a member of the Lady Bulldog Basketball team. Antilley said she plans to attend Northwestern State University to further her education.
The other graduate is Ethan Squires. On May 11, 2018, John Ethan Squires graduated from NSU with a Bachelors of Arts degree. His ambitions are to Teach English and Social Studies in the High School grades as well as coach. Ethan is a product of Red River High School and was one of the first students to complete both the TOPs scholarship curriculum and an NCCER accreditation.
2017-18 was a great year for athletics in Red River Parish. Football and Basketball teams from both high schools were victorious. The Red River High basketball teams were honored this month by the school board.
Red River boys and girls basketball teams both had impressive records. Both won district honors. And both advanced to the semi-finals of their state playoffs.
The School Board hosted a reception and award presentation for the players and coaches at their meeting this month. Coach Keith Johnson and his boys team were presented certificates. Then Coach Missy Antilley and her girls team were presented their certificates.
Two students from Coushatta have been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi at NSU. It is
the nation’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious all-discipline honors society. The students are Sydney Anderson and W. Tanner Lee.
Selection criteria for Phi Kappa Phi are based on high academic standards. Membership is open to the top 7.5 percent of second term juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, as well as faculty and professional staff who achieved scholarly distinction.
We are beginning a new month. For June, here are the dates and times of the public meetings you may be interested in:
June 4th is the regular meeting of the Red River Parish Police Jury. They meet on the third floor of the courthouse at 6:00 pm.
Also June 4th is a special called meeting of the Red River Parish School Board. This meeting will consider an application for a new Charter School in the parish. For more details on the Charter School please The Journal’s issue of May 23rd.
Monday, June 11th is the regular monthly meeting of the school board at 6:30 pm in the school Administration Building on Alonzo Street.
And Tuesday, June 12th is the monthly meeting of the Coushatta Town Council. It is at 5:30 pm at Town Hall.
Eleven student participants in Red River 4-H will be going to Baton Rouge next month to take part in 4-H University. 4-H Extension Agent Terry Foster said, “This year marks the 106th annual celebration and will be host to both new and improved contests. In prior years the event was known as ‘Short Course’ however it has been expanded to cover a broad spectrum of interests.”
Reminder: Red River Industries is closed for vacation this week. They will re-open next week for ironing and baked goods.
The class of 2018 at Red River High is making their way in the world. Their high school career ended Tuesday night with commencement services.
Most of the awards the graduates received were presented in a special celebration last week, however Counselor Kyle Wren recognized students getting scholarships and the major awards. The change in the format of the ceremony was to save time at graduation and to give more recognition to more students at the special ceremony.
Red River Principal J.C. Dickey told the graduates, “You bring your families nothing but honor.” He had praise for their attitude and character displayed during their senior year. This was Dickey’s first year as principal and he recalled his first encounters with the top graduates.
There were co-Salutatorians this year. Kaylee Antilley made her remarks first. She said, “We owe a huge debt to the ones who helped us. Our teachers explained knowledge of the subjects to us and provided extra help when we needed it.” Antilley added, “You demanded excellence. You set the bar high and made us love up to it.” She also thanked her coaches for making the experience more about classwork than just athletics.
In her Salutatory Comments Lazaria Clark termed high school “a wonderful journey.” She says teachers spent their time to fulfill a commitment to our lives. Clark said, “Our eyes were opened to see people as they really are.” She referred to Jeremiah 29:11 and added, “We have absolutely nothing to worry about, God has written our stories. But we need to write more chapters. Don’t leave any page blank.”
Adriana Bradley gave the Valedictory Comments. She said there were some distractors, “But we proved those who said no were wrong. We can say we completed high school.” Bradley complimented her classmates when she said, “You had to go twelve years to get to graduation, but we pushed through. We had to go through the bad to get to the good.” And Bradley added, “Always keep trying. Make memories and live life with no regrets. Leave a mark like no other.”
The highlight of the evening was Principal Dickey and Vice Principal Tiffany Rock calling each graduate to the stage as Superintendent Alison Hughes presented him or her their diploma. Dickey certified the grads had completed all requirements for a diploma. And Hughes declared, members of the class of 2018 are now graduates of Red River High School. Move your tassels from right to left.”
Following the ceremony there were congratulations from friends and family members. And the class moved to a vacant spot on the field to throw their caps into the air to the cheers of everyone in the audience.
It is a tradition that goes back at least to 2002 when Red River Elementary School opened. Teachers and staff wish the students a great summer by waving goodbye on the last day of school.
On Wednesday in 80+-degree weather they did it again.
About 3:00 pm the busses lined up on both sides of the elementary school. Students were dismissed from class for the summer. They boarded the busses for the last ride until next year.
At departure, the busses blew their horns and left the school in a long column with the deputy sheriff stopping traffic on Ashland Road. Along the driveway out of the school, Assistant Principal Danny Reister and the teachers and staffers waved and shouted goodbye to the students. And the kids waved back.
Look at the shirt being work by Christy Suggs. She wasn’t the only one to a big send-off. This was to the parents. Her message…mom and dad, you’ve got this one for a while.
Many soldiers’ graves in our parish are decorated this weekend with American flags. They were put out this week by members of the local Post and Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Representatives of the VFW and the Springville Cemetery Board met Wednesday morning and put out flags on vets graves. Several hundred flags were put out at both Springville Cemeteries and Hand Cemetery so they would be flying over the Memorial Day weekend.
A Walk through any cemetery will reveal that men and women who served their country are resting there. At Springville the Journal discovered a row of six government supplied tombstones. They are the graves of Civil War soldiers from Ohio, New York, Connecticut and Indiana. The six all died during September, October and November in 1875. There is no indication of how or why they found their final rest at Springville.
Also at Springville is the grave marker for Samuel Green Born who served with the CSA from Tennessee. Born died in 1915.
The most recent veterans to be interred at Springville are Henry Bethard III and Johnny Duco.
Terry and John Paul of CBS Home Express, the local Ace Hardware affiliate, donated flags for the graves. Ace Hardware gave flags to VFW Posts across the country to use at Memorial Day.
Here is a bit of the history of Memorial Day from the History Channel website.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.
By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
The Journal hopes this Memorial Day Weekend you and your family will take time to visit the final resting place of American soldiers, especially if you have a veteran in your family. There are many cemeteries large and small in Red River Parish.
The clients of Red River Industries were treated to a hamburger lunch with all the trimmings at Grand Bayou Resort on Tuesday. Eletha Seabaugh is the Director and she arranged for their vacation send-off celebration. About 25 clients attended the send-off.
Seabaugh told The Journal that everyone had worked really hard all year so it is time for a break. She said, “We’re all tired and need a break. So we are closing down for a week so everyone can go on vacation.”
Red River Industries will close today (May 25th) for a week. They will reopen on Monday June 4th. “When they come back they will be refreshed and ready to get back to work,” said Seabaugh.
Red River Industries bakes the most delicious cakes and cookies for any occasion. They do ironing and Red River Industries provides cleaning services. For information call 318-932-6520.
The Red River Council on Aging is making plans for the programs they will offer in coming years. They are asking the community for input. If you have not filled out a survey form, they are available at the COA.
Director Liz Cannon said, “We are planning for programs over the next four years. Anyone can participate. You do not have to be a member of the Council on Aging and you don’t have to be over 60 years old.” Cannon said they just want everyone’s input.
The survey questions are designed to determine areas of daily life with which people need assistance. Topics covered include housing and household upkeep and operating expenses, transportation, and help with housekeeping and medical care. The COA survey wants to know about the need for caregivers, access to medical services and insurance.
Other items on the survey concern the costs of medical services including prescriptions. There is room for responses to questions of a person’s ability to pay for the services they anticipate needing.
The Council on Aging provides many services to senior citizens in Red River Parish. The survey will be valuable input about which services to add, curtail or expand over the next four years. The deadline to get your completed survey to the council office is May 31st.
Three graduating seniors from Red River High could be preparing your gourmet meal at a fine restaurant in the near future. They are participants in the program offered by Wanda Lemoine as part of their high school experience. Here is Lemoine’s report on this year’s graduates:
ProStart is nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, Prostart curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime. By uniting the classroom and industry, Prostart offers students a platform to discover new interests and talents and opens doors for fulfilling careers. This happens through a curriculum that teaches all facets of the restaurant and foodservice industry, inspires students to succeed and sets a high standard of excellence for students and industry. With national and local support from industry members, educators, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and state restaurant associations, Prostart reaches students in 49 states. To receive the National Restaurant Certificate of Achievement these exceptional Prostart students must pass 3 national exams with a score higher than 75%, earn 52 of the 75 culinary observable/employment skills, and work over 400 culinary hours outside the classroom kitchen. This is why Prostart is a two-year commitment that students undertake to accomplish their COA.
We recognize a group of extraordinary individuals….each of who has contributed in some significant way to Red River High school’s educational mission. This celebration is the chance to experience some of the fruits of our student’s’ scholarly and creative activity, and learn more from our students themselves about the process leading up to it.
Kaylee Antilley is a very responsible, motivated and confident student. She comes to school every day prepared and ready to learn. Kaylee is also a model student who sets a positive example for her peers. She never says no when ask to help. Her hard work ethic and focus on doing the right thing is an inspiration to her classmates, Kaylee is an A student and currently holds a 3.93 GPA… She never gives up, which is such a great quality to have. In addition to keeping her grades at an exceptional level, Kaylee participates in many clubs/sports and holds a part-time job. A college bound Kaylee is headed in a direction where she will be successful, prominent and an asset to the community.
Bobby White has made an awesome change in attitude towards school since his freshman year. He comes to school on time with a smile and he is excited to learn and improve his culinary skills. I am very proud of his hard work and dedication in my classroom. In addition to keeping up his grades, Bobby stays busy playing the trumpet in the school band. Bobby also holds a job outside of school and works close to full time hours each week. As a senior, his life and school experiences have been useful tools for him to share with other culinary students….He is a wonderful, positive person for our Prostart program to have as a resource. We know that Bobby will be an asset to where ever he decides to go to college.
La’Dashia Gant is such an amazing student to have in class. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever had in class. During each catering job she is always arriving early and staying late to make sure everything is completely done. La’Dashia is a student who perseveres; she never gives up—always trying hard to reach her goal. During the start of her senior year when La’Dashia counted her hours and realized she was short, she took it upon herself to volunteer in a kitchen at the local nursing home to earn the hours needed for her COA. In whatever career she chooses she will be a success.
The photo accompanying this article shows Antilley, Grant, and White on a field trip the Pro Start program took to great restaurants in Shreveport. Also pictured are Celena Hardy and Charli Williams posing in front of la Madeleine’s French Café.
The Cheer and Dance 2018 Summer Camp is May 30th through June 1st at Red River High School. There will be sessions on cheerleader training and dance training. This 3-day commuter camp will be held from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm each day.
Two students from Coushatta have been inducted into Northwestern State University’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. It is the nation’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious all-discipline honor society. Selection criteria for Phi Kappa Phi are based on high academic standard. Membership is open to the top 7.5 percent of second term juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, as well as faculty and professional staff who achieved scholarly distinction. New members from Coushatta are Sydney Anderson and W. Tanner Lee.
The LA 515 Bridge over Coushatta Bayou will undergo repairs beginning Tuesday, May 29th. The state transportation department estimates the bridge will be closed about 13 days for piling repair. This will result in LA 515 being closed. Motorists are advised to use LA 514 and US 71 as alternate routes.
If you go by the high school campus you will notice that work is underway on changes that have to be in place by start of the school August 7th. The 6th grade portable buildings are being relocated behind the Junior High and Cafeteria buildings. Other changes are underway and other programs are finding new homes for the next school year. It is all to prepare the way for new construction on the high school campus.
Your property taxes will increase next year due to the $29,000,000 bond issue approved by voters over a year ago. The school board has set the millage rates for the 2018 tax year. Finance Director David Jones recommended the board accept the same rate as last year for most tax categories. However the new bond issue rate was set at 9.6 mills. The rate on the bonds that expired this year was 2.25 mills.