LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Several changes are happening around the Lafayette Parish School System as the district has moved several administrators into other roles.

Several area schools, including Lafayette High School, Acadiana High School, and David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, will be seeing new principals, the district formally announced on Friday.

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Most of the announcements were made to teachers this week, as Superintendent Francis Touchet visited and spoke to staff at several schools about the upcoming changes. But the official announcement was made on Friday in a public statement from the district.

Earlier on Friday, news broke about the new principal at Acadiana High School. Jason St. Pierre, as previously reported, was at the center of a school discipline controversy back in 2023. However, LPSS Superintendent Francis Touchet stood by the decision.


 

READ MORE: Controversial Louisiana Principal Picked to Lead Acadiana High


 

"Having successfully led one of the largest high schools in the state, Mr. St. Pierre's experience as a principal is invaluable," Touchet said in the press release. "We are pleased to welcome him to the district and the Scott community."

St. Pierre is replacing Layne Edelman, who is being sent over to Lafayette High School.

LHS was previously headed by Julia Williams, who has reportedly been moved into he district's central office as Director of High Schools. Williams had been the principal of Lafayette High for roughly 18 months and was in the process of improving the school's atmosphere, including discipline issues.

Sherri Livesay has been named the principal of David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, where she has served as assistant principal for the last two years. Alex Melton, who has been the principal at David Thibodaux, is also moving to the district office according to reports.

Catherine Cassidy will take over as principal of Ovey Comeaux High School. She most recently served as Director of High Schools but is now returning to "her passion for direct engagement with high school students and staff," LPSS said in its release.

The full LPSS announcement can be read below.


LPSS Announces New Principal Appointments

The Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) is pleased to announce several administrative changes across the district, effective for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Ms. Layne Edelman
Principal of Lafayette High School

Layne Edelman began teaching social studies in 2007 at Ovey Comeaux High School. She moved into an administrative role at Acadiana High School in 2012, where she served as an assistant principal for nine years before serving the last three years as principal. In addition to her work in the school system, Edelman worked part-time as a human resources officer for the 1/244 Assault Helicopter Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard for eight years, achieving the rank of Captain.

She received the Mayor's Award in 2021 and was named the 2023 High School Principal of the Year for the Lafayette Parish School System. Edelman served on the Louisiana Department of Education English Learner Task Force, is a fierce advocate for students, and has fought for student equity at the state level.

Edelman states, “I am truly honored and excited to begin working alongside the faculty, parents, and students of Lafayette High School. I firmly believe in the power of collaboration and believe that every challenge can be overcome with the spirit of unity and a shared commitment to excellence.”

Edelman graduated from Lafayette High School and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in secondary social studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2011, she completed her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership through the American College of Education.

Mr. Jason St. Pierre
Principal of Acadiana High School

Mr. Jason St. Pierre brings a wealth of experience from his 25 years in education, including 15 years as principal of Walker High School. "Having successfully led one of the largest high schools in the state, Mr. St. Pierre's experience as a principal is invaluable. We are pleased to welcome him to the district and the Scott community," states Superintendent Francis Touchet, Jr.

Mr. St. Pierre's career in education began at Denham Springs Freshman High, where he served as a teacher and coach. He quickly moved into administrative roles, becoming an assistant principal at Denham Springs High School and later the principal of Freshwater Elementary. He also led Walker Freshman High School as principal before his promotion to principal of Walker High School.

Throughout his career, Mr. St. Pierre has been dedicated to fostering educational environments promoting academic and vocational success. At Walker High, he was instrumental in transforming the school into a 21st-century learning institution, emphasizing the integration of college preparatory and career training programs. He established strong partnerships with the business community, creating hands-on learning opportunities for students and ensuring they graduate with the skills needed for higher education and the workforce.

In recognition of his exceptional leadership and commitment to student life, Mr. St. Pierre was honored as the 2022 Varsity Brands School Spirit Principal of the Year, a prestigious national award celebrating principals who significantly enhance the student experience. In 2023, he was nominated as one of Louisiana’s semi-finalists for the state’s Principal of the Year award.

Mr. St.Pierre is eager to bring his vision and expertise to Acadiana High School, where he aims to inspire staff and students to achieve new heights of excellence. Mr. St. Pierre is a Navy veteran with a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and a master’s degree in Education Leadership from Southern University.

Ms. Sherri Livesay
Principal of David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy

Ms. Sherri Livesay began her educational career as an English Language Arts teacher for grades 6-12 in Iberia Parish Parish, where she taught for twelve years.

In 2017, Ms. Livesay joined the Lafayette Parish School System and became the instructional leader at Lafayette High School. Shortly thereafter, she accepted the position as the itinerant assistant principal for Acadiana High School and Lafayette High School before becoming a full-time assistant principal at Lafayette High School. In the fall of 2022, Ms. Livesay joined the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy administrative team under the leadership of Mr. Alex Melton. Ms. Livesay is excited to continue working with the community of David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy in her new role as principal.

Livesay earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Ms. Catherine Cassidy
Principal of Ovey Comeaux High School

Ms. Catherine Cassidy has been appointed Principal of Ovey Comeaux High School, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Ms. Cassidy boasts a comprehensive tenure of 26 years, with 24 years dedicated to the Lafayette Parish School System. Her career in LPSS includes 12 years of teaching and coaching, followed by four years as an assistant principal at Acadiana High School. Subsequently, Cassidy assumed the role of the inaugural principal at Southside High School, where she spent seven years fostering school culture and serving as an instructional leader. Transitioning to Director of High Schools in the preceding year, Cassidy has returned to her passion for direct engagement with high school students and staff.

Noteworthy contributions include co-presentations with Pfluger Architects at Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) conferences, addressing topics such as Collaborative Spaces: Asset or Liability and Setting the Bar in Lafayette. In 2023, she presented to LPSS administrators on Promoting Feedback Culture through End of Year Reflections. Additionally, she served on the Protect Louisiana Schools Hurricane Preparedness Commission initiated by Louisiana State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley in 2021, and she was recently appointed to the Steering/Sustainability Committee for the Louisiana Development Ready Community. Cassidy will bring her approach to developing the Whole Child to the OCHS community and is excited about the work that lies ahead.

Ms. Cassidy holds a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and an add-on certification in Administration from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

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