Photo credits: Melinda Martinez/The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
In January of 2019, a young man will make history by becoming the youngest member of the Avoyelles Parish School Board in Marksville, Louisiana.
According to a Louisiana newspaper called the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Stanley Celestine, Jr. (pictured) will be officially sworn in as a member of the Avoyelles Parish School Board.
In 2017, Celestine graduated from the Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences (LASAS), which is located within the Avoyelles Parish public school district.
Less than two years after finishing his senior year at LASAS, Celestine will be assuming a leadership position to help shape the educational system he is a product of.
Blaine Dauzat, Celestine’s former principal at LASAS told The Advertiser that he had a great track record as a student.
“He is extremely intelligent and extremely hard-working. [Celestine’s young age] might bring some challenges at times, but he is very resourceful and will probably get past most of those,” Dauzat told the newspaper.
This past election day, Celestine beat out his opponent Carolyn Bonton by receiving 65 percent of the vote. When asked in his newspaper interview why he did not wait until after college to run for the school board, he gave a very intelligent answer, which was indicative of his strong value system surrounding education.
“We don’t wait to teach kids how to read and write. We want to start as early as possible. So it’s important we are teaching and instilling in young people that they are never too young … to do things that are not the status quo or not the norm,” Celestine told The Advertiser.
A vast number of students in the Avoyelles Parish public school district are not succeeding academically. Celestine is aware of this reality and offered his take on what will be needed to reverse this troubling trend.
“Vulnerable students need that social and emotional support to help with mental health and behavioral issues. It could be an alternative to suspensions, expulsions, and eradicating the school-to-prison pipeline,” Celestine said.
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