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STEM Center

Posted Oct 6, 2022
Written by David Gray | Livingston Parish News
 

A cornerstone of the Watson community for more than 100 years is preparing for the next century.

On Wednesday, Live Oak High and Livingston Parish school officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the school’s upcoming STEM center, which will increase the school’s offerings of 21st century learning.

With renderings of the new facility on display, officials lauded the “unlimited possibilities” when the project is complete, saying the STEM center will impact learning in several subject areas and open students to technologies “in ways they never have before.”

Live Oak High officials, central office staff, the area’s school board member, and those overseeing the project spoke during the ceremony, with each expressing their own thoughts of the momentous occasion.

But they all agreed on one point: The STEM Center will impact “all students” in the Watson community, regardless if they plan on entering college or the workforce after graduation, for generations to come.

“Live Oak High has served generations of students in the Watson community for 127 years and counting,” said Principal Beth Jones. “We’re excited to bring our students new facilities and technology that will enhance their educational experience while creating new memories that will carry on into the next generation.”

Live Oak High Principal Beth Jones speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Live Oak Institute of Medicine, Aviation & the Arts on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

David Gray | The News

The Live Oak Institute of Medicine, Aviation & the Arts will be available to students in grades 9-12 and include collaborative work spaces, classrooms, simulators, a banquet hall, a new store front, and new commercial kitchen for catering. The project, coming at a price tag of $6 million, will include construction of two new buildings on each side of the administration building, which faces Highway 16 north of Denham Springs.

There will also be an outdoor learning space, and part of the project will include renovations to the school’s front buildings, including a fountain in the detention pond. The firm Gasaway Gasaway Bankston Architects, which has worked on many projects for the school system, will oversee the project, with Stuart & Company General Contractors in charge of construction.

Construction officially got underway with the groundbreaking ceremony, where teachers, administrators, students, central office staff, and others from the Watson community took their turns churning over dirt with gold-plated shovels.

The project, which was given the green light by the School Board in August, is expected to wrap up in February 2024. The total build-out will cover about 19,000 square feet, according to the architect.

Jones, who is in her seventh year as principal of the high school, rattled off some of the subjects students will be able to enhance their knowledge in through the STEM Center, such as biomedical studies, aviation, culinary arts, graphic arts, and engineering.

Officials gather for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Live Oak Institute of Medicine, Aviation & the Arts on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

She also noted the “cross curriculum” aspect of the center, saying students in different subject areas will be able to collaborate on various projects using their specific skill sets.

“We have worked hard to bring this project to fruition, with careful planning and design meetings with the school and the district,” Jones said. “Now, it’s time to watch our vision brought to life. Our students in the Live Oak community deserve it.”

The impending STEM center marks the latest expansion to Live Oak High, which has undergone much change over the last decade. The Watson school moved from its original spot on Old Highway 16 to its current 200,000-square-foot facility in December 2012, the result of a $30 million project. In 2018, the school launched a $6.8 million project to bring the baseball and softball programs on-campus.

School Board member Kellee Dickerson, who represents the Watson area, recalled some of the other expansions to the high school over the years but said that those usually pertained to certain groups of students.

But the new STEM center, she said, will impact “them all.”

“We’ve designed a lot of things in our community that we’re so proud of, the athletic facilities and expansions at other schools,” Dickerson said. “But this is something that, no matter what school they attend at Live Oak, they all come to the high school. And every child who walks through the doors at Live Oak will get to benefit from this amazing facility.”

Livingston Parish School Board member Kellee Dickerson speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Live Oak Institute of Medicine, Aviation & the Arts on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

David Gray | The News

Livingston Parish Assistant Superintendent Jody Purvis, a former CTE teacher, said the STEM center will be one of the most popular areas on campus when it opens, saying it’ll give students a place to see their “academic skills blending with those technical skills.”

“This project is something where every student at Live Oak High is gonna want to be… try to enroll in, and participate in activities that will be with them for the rest of their lives,” Purvis said.

In preparation for the STEM center, Jones said teachers have undergone professional development “to make sure they’re ready” for when the facility opens. The school is also preparing students through “foundational classes” that’ll only be enhanced when the STEM center opens.

The ceremony gave attendees a preview of what students have been learning in those foundational classes — and what’s in store. Culinary students prepared and served a hearty breakfast for those in attendance; drone students filmed the ceremony; and graphic design students produced the banners that were on display.

“We’ve had a lot of behind-the-scenes professional development to get ready for this,” she said. “We wanted to have our foundations ready so when our advanced technologies get here, we are ready to go.”

A portion of the center will be named in honor of the district’s current Career and Technology coordinator, Staci Polozola. Polozola has been behind the district’s push to grow and expand career programs, allowing for certifications in healthcare, culinary arts, construction and manufacturing, business, entrepreneurship, IT, STEM, digital and graphic arts, and automotive and collision repair.

AROUND CAMPUS

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Jan 12...Boys Basketball Lakeshore 7:15
Jan 12...Boys Soccer v Broadmoor 6:00
Jan 13...Girls Soccer v Dutchtown
Jan 17...Boys Soccer vs Denham 6:00
Jan 17...Boys Basketball v Mentorship
Jan 18...Girls Bball St Joseph 6:30
Jan 19...Girls Bball v Fontainebleau
Jan 20...Boys Soccer v EA 6:00
Jan 21...Boys Soccer v Dunham 1:00
Jan 23...Wrestling JV
Jan 24...Boys Basketball v Denham
Jan 24...Girls Soccer v Liberty 6:00
Jan 27...Wrestling v Zachary Dual
Jan 27...Girls Bball v Denham 6:00
Jan 30...Boys Soccer v Lutcher 6:15
Jan 31...Boys Basketball v Central 7:15



 

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Taking Exams
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Midterm Stress

Posted Dec 7, 2022
Written by Colton Way

Midterms for the Fall Semester commence in December.  The annual tests are a source of immense stress and sleepless nights for many students; however, in my experience, the best remedy for these ill-lit, night-washed evenings is to begin preparing weeks, if not months in advance for any subject that prompts concern. Midterms may determine the quality of life of students at home for the duration of the holidays, this eventuality arises complete ensnarement of mental distress arising in the day’s prior for many adolescents. To assuage this, it is advised for students to study with a calm level-mind a week in advance, do not procrastinate, never cram the night before as your memory will be compromised.  Students may also acquire midterm exemptions by a variety of means, all of which may be found in the office. Do your best to ace your tests, as one of the best feelings you can experience in your academic career is the satisfaction of crushing midterms to then embrace the holiday season.

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Thanksgiving Origin

Posted Nov 7, 2022
Written by Harrison Stewart

The history of thanksgiving was first believed to come from a meal shared in 1621 between English pilgrims and a native American tribe called the Wampanoag. This meal was originally thought to be the origins of Thanksgivin,g but it turns out the event came about after our first president, George Washington, issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and prayer”. This is where Thanksgiving really originated and the tradition started. However, Thanksgiving wasn’t declared a national holiday until President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday on October 3rd, 1863. The tradition of eating turkey for Thanksgiving came about at the turn of the 19th century when communities around America held their own unofficial Thanksgiving celebrations where a common dish to serve was turkey. Fun fact: Thanksgiving used to take place on the first Thursday of November.

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Career Day

Posted Nov 20, 2022
Written by Nathan Robinson
 

November 18th is the last day of school before Thanksgiving Break and also the first Career Day in three years. Career Day is where students experience presentation in a variety of careers .  These “clusters” include Counseling/Human Services, Law, Nursing/Medical, Engineering/Gas and Oil Law, Architecture/Aviation, Public Service, Human Services/Small Business, Communication/Graphic Arts, Business/Realty, Military, Health Sciences, Education, Construction, and Environmental Service/Agriculture. The school invites people from the local community to come and speak on their careers. Students can also take this opportunity to ask any questions related to the career such as starting salary, some drawbacks from the career, what to expect if they were to work there, and the different classes that they will need to take during high school and college. During one of the rotations, students will go into the gym and be able to speak with different colleges that may help them get the job that they want. Students can then learn the different diploma opportunities that each college will give. Career Day also helps students who haven’t yet decided on a career, or even if the students change their mind; they have an opportunity to learn about other careers that they may want to do instead.

Soccer

Girls Soccer New Year

Posted Nov 17, 2022
Written by McKinley Crenshaw
 

As the weather temps drop colder this week, our girls soccer team prepares for their first district game against Zachary High School. Their new coach Miss Caroline Owens plans to lead them into a great season by teaching the team new strategies to execute the game. Seniors Julianna Stout, Sylvia White, and Emma Jett have stepped up to fill in the leading roles for the season. In their first scrimmage against Woodlawn High School, the team came together and fought for the 9-2 win with seven goals scored by Noelia Lagos, and the other two by Addison Varnado and Jusitice Richardson. The team and Coach Owens are all excited to start their season.

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Insider Football

Posted Aug 27, 2022
Written by Molly Thigpen
 

Football games are a place for everyone. If you’re an Eagle, family member, or from a completely different school pay at the gate and you’re in! Supporting the Eagles and going to football games means availability to snow ball stands, smoothie king, concessions, and supporting our hard working team. Football games are more than supporting your school and team, watching the Eagles battle their hardest against their opponent, and a place for friends and family to have fun and mingle all around furthering our love, support, and diligence as Eagles!  Football players from every division, freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity, give it their all in the popular physically battling game. They must persevere against any opponent no matter the situation. We support football as much as we can through entertaining pep rallies, fun themes for each football game, and posters hung around the school or on social media. When asked the question, “How do you think this season will go?” Coach Collier responded… “It’s a 50/50 shot. This year’s team will only go as far as their hard work will take them.” Football is a battle you must work for every accomplishment and the schools spirit advances to help with this battle. Eagles work hard and are persistent. We will give it our all this season, Go EAGLES!

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FCA Leadership

Posted Aug 27, 2022
Written by Ignazio Landry
 

This year will be a great year for FCA. Our sponsor Mike Fielding (Youth Pastor at Live Oak Baptist), and all of our new FCA officers have a great year planned for you. Here are the names of the officers for this year: Emilee Aucoin (President), Kathryn Weber (Vice-President), Heidi Nicoles (Secretary), Amanda Lassard, Ashley Norman, Luke Pemberton, and Ignazio Landry. You might be wondering what exactly is FCA, well, FCA is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Don’t worry, you do not have to be an athlete do join, everyone is welcomed so show up. FCA is a place where you can learn about Jesus at school and have fellowship with other believers around you. Our meetings are in the band room this year; all you have to do is look for our flag. We will also have many fun events this year that we will announce in our meetings and on our FCA board in the English hallway, on the second floor. You will need your FCA shirt, which is $25.00, to attend our big end of the year event called “ELEVATE”. You can get the shirt through OSP; this can be found on our school website. We hope to see you in FCA this year! “Our main purpose in FCA is and will always be to make disciples for Jesus wherever we are. We serve a big God who has given us a mission. It’s time to get to work.” -Mike Fielding

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The Drop Dance

Posted Aug 23, 2022 

 

The drop was an incredible event sanctioned by Live Oak High School where students went to get back into the school spirit and have some fun with their friends. The Drop had a glow in the dark theme, filled with glow sticks and neon clothing to give the event a vibrant neon glow that made The Drop all the more fun. There was also music that everybody danced to and held their glow sticks in the air. The event really brought us together as an introduction to a new chapter for the school. Everybody got to socialize with their friends in a party with them.

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Opening the Year without SARS-CoV-2

Posted Aug 19, 2022
Written by Colton Way
 

The dawn of the 2022-2023 school year ushers in the return of the pre- SARS-CoV-2, normal; as a senior at Live Oak, the last unaltered high school experience was the latter end of the 2020 school year, therefore, for many fellow seniors, this new beginning is a bittersweet revival, and for many others, a new trail to be blazed. For the underclassman this year, the notion of congregating in the courtyard is new territory. The lines laid about the school are no more, divided lunch seating, as well as four shifts is no more, a shift which is embraced eagerly is the revocation of the mask mandate. Perhaps the most invigorating is the reintroduction of school events, most recently of which is the Drop, a neon techno glow in the dark return to school party, hosted for the first time in three years. The overarching sentiment is the general sense of familiarity, the high school experience, which has been taken from us, this presents the possibility to return to what Live Oak High has enjoyed for decades, and now for decades to come. 

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Dodgeball Champions

Posted March 10, 2022

Congratulations to "The Average Joes" for winning the annual Live Oak High Dodgeball tournament this year.  The team consisted of Tyler Giering, Alex Rivers, Bentz Borne, Braden Jones, Carter Davison, Orry Stafford, and Coach Clayton Ray. 

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Wrestling State Championship

Posted February 20, 2022

Congratulations to Rayden Ingram (State Champion), Andrew Lusby (Runner-up), and Lathan Hirschey (3rd place) for winning at State Playoffs.

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