Jul 15, 2013 3:25 PM

Vermilion Parish teacher to take over state educator group

BATON ROUGE | Longtime Vermilion Parish teacher and public school advocate Deborah Meaux assumes her duties today as president of the Louisiana Association of Educators. She will serve as the spokesperson for the 20-thousand-member professional advocacy group.

"My goal is to continue the work of the LAE in creating great public schools for every child in Louisiana," Meaux said. "During my tenure, I hope to reinforce the community's faith in Louisiana's public school teachers and support professionals."

Meaux wrapped up her 38th year in the classroom in May and now takes over the position of LAE's top official. She will lead the association's efforts at the legislature, and preside over meetings of the LAE Representative Assembly and Board of Directors. Meaux will represent Louisiana educators at the national level through her networking efforts with the National Education Association (NEA), LAE's parent organization.

Meaux succeeds two-term president, Joyce Haynes, a 40-year classroom veteran from St. Landry Parish.

"I have enjoyed working with Debbie and I know she will work hard to keep LAE members active and motivated," Haynes said. "Our education system is at a crossroads and teachers need a strong professional network to support them, Debbie has the skills to lead the association in the best direction to meet the needs of today's committed educators."

The French teacher from Kaplan High School in Vermilion Parish has been heavily involved in professional advocacy efforts. In her local chapter, the Vermilion Association of Educators (VAE), Meaux served in the capacity of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. For more than 10 years, she was the chief negotiator for the contract between the VAE and the Vermilion Parish School Board. She's also active as a mentor and trainer for new teachers in her district.

Throughout her nearly 40-year career in education, Meaux was named teacher of the year three times - twice at Kaplan High School and once at Rene Rost Middle School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and English from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (currently ULL). She has three children and two grandchildren.

Meaux said her immediate focus will be to work with leaders in the Louisiana Department of Education to institute a fair educator evaluation system.

"There's much work to be done and I'm prepared to take on the challenge," she said. "I'm ready to raise LAE's stature as an organization that supports its members and the public school children of Louisiana."


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