A familiar face and a familiar voice to radio listeners and television viewers across South Louisiana has announced a "change in channels" to borrow from the vocabulary of media outlets.

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Tracy Wirtz the former morning show host for KATC Television and news anchor for KLFY Television has announced that she will be stepping down from her current position as host of Acadiana's Morning News on KPEL-FM in Lafayette for a position with Lafayette Parish Public Schools.

Lafayette Parish Superintendent of Schools Francis Touchet made the announcement in a press release this morning. (06/21/24).

Courtesy LPSSonline
Courtesy LPSSonline
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The addition of Wirtz to the Lafayette Parish Public Schools Communications Department is one of several changes the department has undergone in recent weeks. Lafayette Parish Superintendent of Schools Francis Touchet said in a prepared statement,

School systems across the state and country are enhancing their communications teams to ensure effective and efficient internal and public communication.

Touchet went on to say that Wirtz was not the only addition Lafayette Parish Schools were making to beef up and enhance their communications team. The school district also announced the transition of Jacob Simon. Simon will serve the district as Communications and Marketing Manager.

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Simon has been with Lafayette Parish Schools for the past 11 years. Much of that time was at Ovey Comeaux High School in Lafayette where he led the school's Speech and Debate Program. That program was honored with several state and national awards during Simon's tenure. Simon most recently served OCHS as an Assistant Principal. 

Superintendent Touchet said of the addition of Wirtz and Simon to the Communications Team,

The addition of Tracy and Jacob will improve LPSS's capability to convey its
message and successes to the public quickly while enhancing its capacity to listen to and address the concerns of our stakeholders.

Wirtz who comes from a family of educators told us she looks forward to sharing the stories of the amazing people who make up the Lafayette Parish School community. Wirtz said of her relationship with broadcasters and local media, she looked forward to working with her former on-air colleagues so that,

we showcase the amazing opportunities LPSS provides and the inspiring success stories of students and teachers who are the heart of the school system.

According to the Press Release from LPSS, the Communications Team:

Traci Aucoin Will Serve As Community Collaborations and Partnerships Coordinator.

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In that position, Aucoin will act as the primary liaison between the school system and its community partners. She focuses on establishing, developing, and optimizing partnerships with nonprofit, corporate, government, and other community organizations to enhance educational support for students, families, and
educators.

Traci previously served as the Director of the US Department of Education GEAR UP Program. She was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. She has also worked at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in various leadership roles, including Director of the University College, Director of Special Projects for the President, and Director of
the UL Alumni Association.

 
Olivia Sonnier will serve as Communications Coordinator.

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Since joining the team in 2022, Olivia has made substantial strides in enhancing Lafayette Parish School System's social media presence through strategic management, content creation, and storytelling. A proud UL Ragin Cajun alumna with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, she brings a unique
blend of creativity and expertise to her role. Known for her innovative thinking, Olivia has played a vital role in shaping and expanding the district's online identity. She eagerly anticipates continuing this journey with the new and dynamic team.

 
Blaine Bearb will serve as the Webmaster.

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Bearb serves as the Webmaster for the Lafayette Parish School System, tasked with building and maintaining its online presence. For the past 12 years, he has been instrumental in shaping the district's digital footprint since the department’s inception. In 2024, his proficiency in web development earned him national acclaim for his work on the Lafayette Parish School System website.

Complementing his role as webmaster, Blaine leverages his expertise as a seasoned photographer, videographer, and nationally recognized graphic designer. He looks forward to continuing this impactful work alongside an exceptional team of communicators.

 
Sherri Stelly will serve as Secretary.

Courtesy lpssonline.com
Courtesy lpssonline.com
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Sherri Stelly, who recently joined the team as the office secretary, brings 20 years of experience in administrative support with her. Drawing on this extensive experience, she brings substantial knowledge and efficiency to her role. Sherri is dedicated to improving office operations and is excited to support this growing team as it thrives.

 

What's For Acadiana's Morning News on KPEL-FM

Tracy Lynn
Tracy Lynn
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As far as Wirtz's successor on KPEL-FM and Acadiana's Morning News the search for a new host is underway. We will certainly keep you posted on that. We wish our friend and colleague Tracy Wirtz the very best in this new endeavor.

We also congratulate the other members of the LPSS Communications Team. Townsquare Media and its family of Lafayette-based radio stations and websites look forward to sharing the stories of the amazing faculty and student body that are Lafayette Parish Schools.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells

 

 

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