The Rapides Parish School System along with Northwestern State University, Louisiana College, Louisiana State University of Alexandria and the Central Louisiana Technical Community College were honored as part of a “Celebration of Education in Central Louisiana” Saturday afternoon during the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Lunch at the Diamond Grill.

The Mayor’s Mardi Gras Lunch is an annual tradition, held following the Children’s Mardi Gras Parade. As part of the celebration this year, each course of the meal was designed to recognize a different educational partner.

“Alexandria is blessed to have educational leaders like Jeff Powell, Dr. Paul Coreil, Dr. Haywood Joiner, Dr. Chris Maggio, Jimmy Sawtelle and Dr. Rick Brewer working to educate our youth,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “These outstanding leaders and their staff are doing great things every day, and it is important that we take time to say thank you. These leaders and these schools are making a difference.”

As part of the program each of the area schools was honored and presented with an award. Those honored and accepting awards Saturday include Dr. Chris Maggio, President of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches; Norm Miller, representing Louisiana College; Tracy Vorrice, Dennis Stewart, Jamie Henagan and Laquanta Jones representing the Rapides Parish Scholl Board; Dr. Paul Coreil, chancellor of LSU of Alexandria; and James Sawtelle, chancellor of Central Louisiana Technical Community College.

“CLTCC is honored to be recognized alongside our Cenla peer institutions of higher education,” said CLTCC Chancellor James Sawtelle. “We are grateful to Mayor Hall and his entire administration for their support of workforce development. We believe the best is yet to come because of this partnership.”

LSUA Chancellor, Dr. Paul Coreil, stressed the importance of the local schools working together to benefit Central Louisiana. “The biggest thing is how well we all work together to leverage what we learn,” Coreil said. “We all have the same mission, and we need to work together to achieve that mission.”

NSU President, Dr. Chris Maggio, said the university leaders get together quarterly for face-to-face meetings. “It’s all about the three Cs,” he said. “If we communicate and collaborate, then we will celebrate.”

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