West Feliciana Schools gearing up with exciting new additions ahead of the school year
WEST FELICIANA PARISH - From new schools to new teachers and coaches, students all across south Louisiana have a lot to look forward to as the school year begins.
West Feliciana Parish starts back Wednesday and will be greeted with some exciting programs, new coaches, and a new way to get students to read.
At Bains Elementary, they're rolling out a new book vending machine as an effort to get students excited to read. Each month they're rewarded a token and get to choose a book to take home.
"We have books for each level, each interest level, and each class will get a token and each month a student from each class will be able to take one of those books home so we're hoping that gets literacy out in the community and gets everyone excited about reading," said Britton King, fourth grade ELA and Social Studies teacher.
Over at the high school, they have four new head coaches in football, basketball, cross country, and softball to get athletes ready for the new season.
"Everybody always says the same thing around here: you got to win it all, and that's what you want," said West Feliciana High School's new head football coach Devin Ducote. "You want high expectations because without those, who are you supposed to be? We talk about being our personal best. What does that look like on the back end of the season? Playing our best football and letting the chips fall where they may. So, I'm really excited about this group and who we feel like we can be and we continue to grow and be better and stay hungry."
Students also have new additions to their Career Tech Education program. Not only do they have EMT, nursing, welding, and culinary training courses, but they also added in firefighting training where'll they get that hands-on experience with the West Feliciana fire district.
"Most of the training will be held here at the school but we also have our training grounds that are a couple of miles from here," said Rick Dudley, Chief of West Feliciana Fire District. "We have a burn building, maze building and we'll be able to bring them there on certain days where they'll actually be in the gear, in the smoke, real stuff."
Students who enrolled in the welding class say this helps them feel better when making their decisions for the future if they decide not to go to college.
"It shows everybody about the industrial world," said a senior at WFHS, Adam Theriot. "It shows them all the options that they have to go out after high school. You don't have to go to college, you can go and weld and do other things like metal work, blue-collar work."
"When I first get them in the class, it's mostly how I'm going to do this or that but, once they get in that class and start learning that trade, I see a lot of growth, a lot of stuff going forward with those students," said Denzel Washington, the welding instructor at WFHS.
Superintendent Hollis Milton says these programs are constantly growing and getting these kids ready for the future.
"Our Career Tech Education Center, there were already some incredible programs that we had last year with that facility and now we're adding firefighter one and two," Milton said. "It gives everybody an opportunity to see the vision, to see what it's doing for our kids. We're building these new partnerships just like we are with the West Feliciana Fire Department. I believe we'll continue to see new partnerships grow in the future and our students are only going to flourish and they're going to be more ready for the jobs of the future."
The firefighting class is a new program that's being rolled out throughout the state and West Feliciana High School is one of the first to offer the class. Currently, they have about five students enrolled and plan to expand next year.
Students head back to school Aug. 9th.
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