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Pictured above with Evangeline Superintendant of Schools Darwan Lazard, Ville Platte High Principal Melanie Miller, and Ville Platte High power lifting coach Matthew Carmouche are members of the Bulldog power lifting team that finished third in the state. In no particular order are Montique Goody, Shawn LeBlanc, Jakalyan “Karate Kid” Fontenot, Blake Celestine, Christopher Dupre, Marcus Soileau, Quincey Bias, Zack Bolfa, and Travion Ardoin. Not pictured are Dustin LeBleu and Jakeelan Bruno. (Gazette photo by Tony Marks)

EPSB recognizes student accomplishments during 2018-2019 school year

During the meeting Wednesday of the Evangeline Parish School Board, several students were recognized for their accomplishments during the past school year.
Among those recognized were members of the power lifting team from Ville Platte High School that finished third in the state.
“I always say there are two important dates in a person’s life,” said Coach Matthew Carmouche. “They are when you’re born and when you find out what you’re on this earth to do. Coming out of college, I wanted to continue in sports and help others to become successful.”
He continued, “God blessed me with many kids over the past 20 years to understand the philosophy and effort and to understand through sports we can develop kids as champions in life.”
Coach Carmouche did not begin coaching the team until January, which was about halfway through the season.
“I’m very proud of the guys because they accepted the challenge,” said Coach Carmouche. “They gave everything they got to get this far.”
Ville Platte High Principal Melanie Miller said of her Bulldog power lifting coach, “To say Matthew Carmouche is an asset to Ville Platte High School is an understatement. Coach Carmouche came to us in January, and, in a period of 10 weeks, he has produced three state champions and a third place team in the state. I really appreciate that I have this coach on my campus, and I’m looking forward to great things with him.”
The state champion power lifters from Ville Platte High are- Jakalyan “Karate Kid” Fontenot, squatted 335, benched 170, deadlifted 345, composite ranking of second in the state; Quincey Bias, squatted 575, benched 275, deadlifted 545, ranked number four overall in the state; and Travion Ardoin, squatted 675, benched 385, deadlifted over 600, composite ranking of fourth out of all the classes in his weight division.
Other members of the team are Monteque Goody, Shawn LeBlanc, Jakeelan Bruno, Dustin LeBleu, Blake Celestine, Christopher Dupre, Marcus Soileau, and Zack Bolfa.
The students from Evangeline Parish who qualified to attend the National BETA Convention. Those students were Makayla Hall (3rd place in jewelry) and Terralyn Fontenot (1st in sewing) from Mamou; Abigail Arnaud, Layna Deshotel, Ainsley Dutton, Maisey LaFleur, and Chandler Wolenhaus (5th in technology) from Pine Prairie; and Daniel Paul (4th in agriscience division 2) from Pine Prairie.
Madison Victorian from Basile High who received her associates degree in psychology, Matthew Alfred III from Mamou who received an associates degree in pre-pharmacy, and McKenzie Walker from Ville Platte High who received an associates degree in engineering were recognized as graduating seniors who completed the LSUE Academy.
Also recognized were the First Student Scholarship winners: Presley Laird from Basile, Chloe Tate from Mamou, Ethan West from Pine Prairie, and McKenzie Walker from Ville Platte High.
Later in the meeting, Superintendant Darwan Lazard reported, “the $1,000.00 raise for certificated employees and the $500.00 raise for support employees did pass the legislature. It also included $39 million that will be divided up by school districts from across the state.”
In other business, the board:
• approved changing the official journal from the Ville Platte Gazette to The Basile Weekly effective July 1, 2019.
• set a public hearing to be held on July 17, 2019, to consider adoption of 2019 millage rates for the tax year 2019.

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