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    Fall 2018, Volume XXIX, Number 1 Print

    Mission Statement:

    Mission Statement: To provide quality School-based Administrative Leadership for Louisiana schools through Professional Development,
    Legislation and Member Services.

    LAP Office - North

    103 Crawford St. Winnfield, - LA 71483
    Phone: (318) 648-2999

    LAP Office - South

    P. O. Box 488 LaPlace, - LA 70069
    Phone: (504) 909-4650

    Web Site:
    Toll free 800-238-9371
    FAX 318-648-2990

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    2019 Louisiana Principals of the Year

    Dr. Eric Davis is the 2019 Overall Louisiana Principal of the Year.
    Dr. Davis earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama; a master's degree in Education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe; and a doctorate in Administration Leadership for Teacher Learning from Walden University.

    Dr. Davis is an education veteran, with 20 years of experience in teaching and leadership. Before becoming an administrator, Dr. Davis taught business education, special education and coached high school football, basketball and baseball. His favorite part of his career is influencing the lives of young people every day and encouraging them to take charge and ultimately fulfill their purpose.

    Dr. Davis currently serves as the Principal at Wossman High School. As principal, Dr. Davis strives to provide avenues and opportunities for students to perform academically, as well as envision themselves as candidates for post-secondary schooling. In his first year ofadministration, Wossman’s overall school performance score was a 68.1. Immediately, Dr. Davis devised a plan to grow students while also changing the mindsets of everyone who had a stake in the school. In one short year, Wossman grew 17.3 points, resulting in a school performance score of 85.4. In 2017-2018, Wossman was named a Top Gains School and was rated the #1 public high school in the state for growth. In addition to dispelling the stigma that kids who live in a poverty stricken area could not perform at high levels, Dr. Davis also works hard to influence the lives of young people so each can have control over their own future. As State Principal of the Year, Dr. Davis plans to share a wealth of ideas on how to increase opportunities for students on the career or university track so that all kids fulfill their God given purpose.

    Superintendent Brent Vidrine said of Dr. Davis "He believes and supports his teachers, administration, faculty, staff and students and holds them to high expectations !”
    Congratulations, Dr. Davis!

    Ms. Kim Canezaro is our 2019 elementary school principal of the year.
    She has been in the field of education for 26 years. During those years as a teacher, she taught 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 6th grade. She also served as an instructional coach, an
    Assistant principal and principal. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and her Master's degree from Southern University. During her career, she has had the honor of representing her school as Teacher of the Year. Also, during her years as principal of Valverda Elementary, their school performance score rose from a 74.5 (C) To a 95 (B). She believes that high expectations for teachers and students resulted in improved achievement for all.
    She believes her most significant accomplishment as an educator is that she was able to motivate her teachers to share their school's vision and move forward with it. She shares that Valverda has always been a good school, but there was no reason why they could not be a great school. A "needs assessment' was completed by an outside team of experts and their findings supported the belief that they were poised for higher student achievement, but as a school they were lacking the belief that they could be great. They focused on increasing the expectations of teachers and students which ultimately produced higher student achievement. Their school now leads their district as being the school that has the highest SPS, having the highest Student achievement and growth, and the most teachers on the district's Wall of Fame. As a whole, they are continuously finding new and innovative programs to bring to our school to an even higher level of student achievement than before. She states, “We have taken a good school and put it on the map as a great school because our students deserve nothing less.”
    Congratulations, Ms. Canezaro!

    The 2019 middle school principal of the year is Dr. Holly Castile.
    Dr. Holly Castile has been in education since 2006 when she started out teaching Louisiana History at Crowley Middle School in Acadia Parish. She went on to teach reading, social studies, and coach girls’ basketball at Welsh-Roanoke Jr. High in Jefferson Davis Parish before becoming an assistant principal at Grand Lake School in Cameron Parish in January 2013. Holly has just finished her third year as the principal at Grand Lake School where, under her leadership, the PK-12 school has earned an A rating for the past two years. Dr. Castile believes in educating the whole child and has expanded the enrichment programs such as art, drama, music, and computer science as well as CTE and Dual Enrollment courses on campus. Holly graduated from McNeese State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Additionally, Holly received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. Holly believes that in order to achieve success, we must be willing to face adversity and the risk of failure.
    Dr. Castile believes her single most significant accomplishment as an educator is the collaborative environment that she has fostered on campus. She provided teachers with the opportunity to work with the administration to create a school that encourages innovative thinking, risk-taking, and one that encourages “thinking outside the box”. Teachers work directly with the administration to create changes that promote student success. As a principal, Her goal is to establish norms that encourage teachers to take the lead on key incentives. The leadership team meets to discuss ideas and each time she has been amazed at their innovation. In a PK-12 school, the administration can’t possibly be an expert in every area; therefore, it is essential to guide teachers into becoming leaders in their school. This also allows them to build a pipeline of future leaders not only at the school and district levels, but also the state level.
    Congratulations, Dr. Castille!

    Victoria McMullen-Dunn is the 2019 High School Principal of the Year.
    Mrs. McMullen-Dunn began her educational career in July 2002 as an Agricultural Science Teacher at Clinton High School. She taught in the classroom for 12 years before becoming an Administrator at East Feliciana High School. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Agriculture and a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision. She obtained both of her degrees from Southern University and A & M College. She has also taught classes at the Southern University Agriculture Research and Extension Center for the “Women in Agriculture Program.” A few of her educational career accomplishments include being named Beginning Teacher of the Year in 2003, Teacher of the Year in 2014, and District Principal of the Year for 2017-2018 school year.
    Under her leadership at East Feliciana High School, the School Performance Score has increased from a 71.7 to a 87.3 in one school year, moving the school's letter grade from a "C" to a "B." East Feliciana High School saw the seventh-highest rate of growth of any high school in the state, improving 1.7 points from 16.5 to 18.2. The Louisiana Department of Education recognized East Feliciana High as a Top Gains School. Mrs. McMullen-Dunn believes that accountability and having high expectations for teachers and students is the key to student success.
    She believes her most significant accomplishment as an educator was the schools growth on the ACT. The ACT Index went from 45.4 to 75.1 and they earned 9.6 progress points. When Mrs. McMullen-Dunn first arrived at East Feliciana High School the data was analyzed and an intentional decision was made to really concentrate on the ACT. The senior class that year had a history of scoring high on state tests. Unfortunately, there were only 13 out 78 seniors who had scored an 18 or above on their ACT. They developed a strategic plan to increase those numbers. They started with every student who did not have an 18 or higher and they were enrolled in an ACT Prep class. A variety of strategies were chosen that included offering incentives to students who increased their score each time they took it, parent meetings, boot camps, ACT Prep bell ringers, and incorporating ACT into daily lessons. By the end of the school year they had 58 students that made an 18 or above.
    Congratulations, Mrs. McMullen-Dunn!

    Congratulations to all of our 2019 Louisiana Principals of the Year!


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    President's Message

    It is an honor and privilege to serve as the President of the Louisiana Association of Principals. I have been a member of LAP for 17 wonderful years. I consider it to be the pinnacle of my education career to serve on this board and as its President. Being a principal is a tough job for anyone today, LAP must continue to support our colleagues through providing professional development across our great state. This professional development allows principals to be abreast of most current strategies from across the country.

    I have had the opportunity through LAP to meet and work with nationally-recognized speakers such as Jimmy Casas, Will Bowen, Adolph Brown and many others. These opportunities have allowed me to return to my school, district, and state with experiences that enhance the education of all students. At JI Watson Elementary School our motto is “Creating a better future, one Stinger at a time.” My experiences while serving on the LAP Board have allowed me to do just that.

    As your President, I hope to continue the high quality of service that LAP has always provided its members. I look forward to working with Principals across the state as we deal with the ever-changing education policy from our state and federal governments. I feel blessed to be working with experienced and wonderful people like Debra Schum and Jeanine Ford. Without their support and guidance this organization would not be the success it is today.
    Thank you for your service to all the students in our great state.


    Joseph David, Principal
    J. I. Watson Elementary

    New LAP members were recognized and received their LAP plaques at the Awards Luncheon Monday, September 10 during the 67th Annual Conference.

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    Calendar of Events

    35th Assistant Principals Conference - Monday, November 5

    November 05, 2018
    7:30 AM - 3:30 PM

    Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Lake Charles
    2550 Golden Nugget Boulevard
    Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Venue website

    LAP’s 35th Assistant Principals’ Conference will be held on Monday, Nov. 5 2018, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles. All assistant principals, principals, administrative assistants, coordinators, school counselors, and aspiring principals

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    2018 Clerical Conference - December 2-3, 2018

    December 02, 2018 7:30 AM to December 03, 2018 3:30 PM

    Double Tree by Hilton Lafayette
    1521 West Pinhook Rd
    Lafayette, LA 70503
    Venue website

    The LAP 24th Annual Clerical Conference will begin on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, and will conclude Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, by 2 p.m. All school secretaries, clerks, administrative assistants, and central office staff are encouraged to attend this professional co

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    New Principals Workshop - December 4 - Lafayette

    December 04, 2018
    8:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    The Cecil J. Picard Center
    200 E. Devalcourt St.
    Lafayette, LA 70506
    Venue website

    The Louisiana Association of Principals (LAP) offered a new principals workshop last year in partnership with the LDOE and it was so well received we have decided that we will offer it again this year on December 4th in Lafayette

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    Photo Galleries


    SEPTEMBER 9-11, 2018

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    From The Desk of The Executive Director

    Hi All,

    Happy Fall Y’all! Hope everyone is off to a great school year and wishing everyone the best in anticipation of the New SPS Scores. Please make sure that you have received the updates regarding the new reporting system—there will be significant changes in the Letter Grade Reporting as you will see a letter grade for Achievement, a letter grade for Growth and an overall Grade for your SPS in Elementary and Middle Schools. High Schools will see 5 Letter Grades—one for each of the 4 areas reported (EOC’s, Grad Rate, Grad Index and ACT) as well as an overall score based on the SPS. There will also be a Letter Grade that uses last year’s formula so you can see what your score/letter grade would have been using that formula.

    Our Principals Conference in September was a great success receiving a 4.5 out of 5 overall rating! The conference included a panel presentation from our Elementary, Middle, High School and Overall Principal of Year followed by a mini Ed-camp to provide best practice discussions to all of our attendees! This method of professional development was so well received during this conference and at the New Principals Workshop last year that we have decided to add a New Principals workshop ( 0-3years of experience) to the conference schedule this year. The Conference will take place on December 4th in Lafayette and is free to members and is limited to 100 attendees. Jimmy Casas – author of “Culturize” will be the keynote speaker for the conference! A registration link is included in this newsletter for your convenience!

    Items to note from the October 16th BESE meeting:

    • The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) established new state credentials for classroom teachers who serve as mentors to aspiring teachers and as curriculum experts within their schools. The credentials, Mentor Teacher and Content Leader Certificates, will count toward requirements to obtain the certificate needed to become an assistant principal or principal.

    • Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) also approved the adoption of a new accountability system for alternative education schools across the state. The new accountability system will rate these sites based on formulas that better align to their unique mission.

    • This fall, the Department will provide schools with a behavioral intervention vendor guide, a portfolio of evidence-based interventions for use within a multi-tier system of supports, a vetted portfolio of evidence-based social-emotional learning curricula, and opportunities for ongoing face-to-face professional learning.

    In the spring, the Department will provide federal grant funding to schools with high rates of out-of-school referrals and persistently low student performance, as part of the state's School Redesign Grant process and as outlined by the state's plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

    Also, the MFP Task Force met on Wednesday October 17th to discuss the various components of the formula and to receive information relative to pay increases over the last several years and to share potential costs of raising salaries. No action was taken regarding MFP formula recommendations at this meeting—as the Revenue Estimating Conference will take place in December and the committee will most likely make a recommendation in January. We will keep you posted on any changes that may occur--as there is much discussion about a potential pay raise for educators.


    (Registration for these conferences can be found in this newsletter!)

    • Annual Assistant Principals Conference--November 5th—Lake Charles—Golden Nugget Casino

    • Annual Clerical Conference--- December 3rd ----Lafayette---Doubletree by Hilton

    • New Principals Workshop. December 4th — Lafayette – Picard Center

    Please encourage your co-workers (Principals and Assistant Principals) to become members of LAP--the more members we have the more our voice is heard! We are the only organization that is affiliated with the national principal’s organizations (NAESP and NASSP) and we advocate for principals/site based administrators at the national level also!

    Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or concerns.

    Thanks for all that you do!


    Debbie Schum, LAP Executive Director

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    The 2018-2019 officers were approved during the LAP Business Meeting that was held in conjunction with the 67th Annual Conference. From left: President: Joseph David, principal at J. I. Watson Elementary in Calcasieu Parish; President-elect: Ragan Lorraine, principal at Galliano Elem. in Lafourche Parish; and Vice President: Thomas Byler, principal at North Vermilion High School in Vermilion Parish.

    Lexia Learning sponsored the Board of Directors dinner meeting Sunday, September 9. Heather Young, representative of Lexia Learning, gave a brief presentation at the dinner.

    LAP Board of Directors September Meeting


    Join Us in Spokane for NAESP 2019 Conference.

    Mark your calendars now to join us in Spokane, WA, July 10-12, 2019. Planning is underway for informative sessions, networking opportunities, and inspiring Keynote speakers to provide a phenomenal learning experience for Pre-K-8 Principals.
    Create your unique schedule to align with your specific leadership needs from the 2019 Conference strands:

    • Innovative Technology Strategies/Techniques

    • Instructional Leadership

    • Arrays of Management

    • Ethics/Equity in Schools

    Join Us in Boston for NASSP NPC19.

    This summer, K–12 school leaders came together to spark creativity, promote an entrepreneurial mindset, and cultivate resources and practices to advance learning. We’re excited to keep this momentum going with the 2019 National Principals Conference, kicking off in Boston, July 18–20.

    Register with promo code EARLY19 by October 31 and get $100 off the full conference registration.




    Due to rising costs, the LAP Board of Directors voted to increase dues for the 2019-2020 school year. LAP has not had a dues increase since 2010.

    Individual Membership: $175
    Institutional Membership: $200

    Yearly memberships for Associate ($60), Aspiring ($60), and Retired memberships ($15) will remain the same.

    Explanation of Membership Categories:

    Individual Membership: Available to principals, assistant principals, and other school administrators. Individuals receive all LAP benefits. This nontransferable membership is owned by the individual.

    Institutional Membership: Eligibility and benefits are the same as individual. This membership is owned by the school in the name of the individual and is covered as a professional development expense by most districts. This membership is transferable and all materials are sent to the school. Note: This is NOT a 1 price covers all principals/assistant principals at your school.

    Associate/Aspiring Membership: Open to superintendents, district personnel, department heads, teachers, graduate students, professors, and aspiring administrators. Associate members receive all benefits except legal and liability coverage. Membership is nontransferable.

    On August 22, LAP members partnered with the Louisiana Public Broadcasting station in Baton Rouge. The LAP members answered the phones as people called in to donate to LPB.

    Shown below is NASSP Region 8 members. LAP hosted the NASSP Region 8 meeting that was held in conjunction with the NASSP National Principals Conference in Chicago in July. Region 8 includes the following states: Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi.

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    Horace Mann

    Horace Mann celebrates principals with its $10,000 National Principals Month Giveaway
    Principals need to enter a project number for a chance to win

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (October 12, 2018) – As part of National Principals Month, Horace Mann is honoring principals across the country, recognizing the positive impact they have on their teachers and students. Horace Mann, a company helping educators achieve their financial goals, is donating $10,000 to projects through its National Principals Month Giveaway, and sponsoring the NAESP 2018 National Distinguished Principals program.

    Principals and their educators can now enter the $10,000 National Principals Month Giveaway, where up to $2,000 in projects will be drawn daily October 15-19. Principals may also call their local Horace Mann agent with an official seven-digit project number and have the agent complete the contest form. To be eligible for funding, projects should be valued at $500 or less. Projects over $500 may be eligible only if the remaining amount to fully fund the project is under $500.

    In addition to the giveaway, Horace Mann is sponsoring the NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) 2018 National Distinguished Principals program. This program honors elementary and middle-level administrators for setting high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staffs in their learning communities. Horace Mann is proud to join NAESP in honoring these educators.

    About Horace Mann

    Horace Mann (Horace Mann Educators Corp. (NYSE:HMN)) is the largest financial services company focused on providing America’s educators and school employees with insurance and retirement solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois. For more information about the company, visit

    Contact: Michelle Eccles, Horace Mann, 217-788-5394,

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