A new beginning as principal
Alice Lejeune is now principal at Pine Prairie High School and recently shared how she continues to be a leader and what she does to help out the school.
Question: When did you first become involved in education?
Answer: It feels as if I have always been a part of an educational institution. Growing up, I always knew I would be a teacher. After graduating from LSU in 2000, I taught in East Baton Rouge Parish for a short time. I worked in the post-secondary education world for three years and then chose a marketing path and worked for Sallie Mae Student Loans for five years. However, I would not say I really got embedded in my educational journey until 2007 when I returned home to start a family in Ville Platte and began my teaching career at Ville Platte High School.
Question: What made you decide to become a principal?
Answer: I always imagined that I would be a classroom teacher. However, as time progressed, I noticed a shortage of leaders, and so I chose to pursue a leadership role. If you ask my brother, he tells people “she was born to do this.” I enjoy sharing ideas and methods in the education process, and I just felt I needed to do more for the school than just remain as a classroom teacher. I simply felt that I can give more.
Question: What do you hope to get from being a principal at Pine Prairie High School, and what would you enjoy about leading the students there?
Answer: I hope to bring consistency and continuity to PPHS. I am looking forward to working with the faculty and staff, students, and community of Pine Prairie to instill pride in their community school that has the potential to be an A school.
Question: What kind of impact do you try to impart on your students as their leader?
Answer: I personally feel that a leader should posses traits of fairness and equality and instill the belief that all students have the ability to learn, at their individual capacities. I model these traits by approaching students with dignity, respect, and an understanding of objectives that go far beyond the classroom and their high school years. Allowing them to invest in their education is imperative to their success.
Question: What are some of the issues you see today among students — what are their worries and concerns?
Answer: With the students, I have encountered their worries have varied between should I do dual enrollment, to what time will I get out of class so I can go to work, coupled with what will I have for dinner? In dealing with such a wide variety of students, the worries and concerns are both encouraging and troubling. My goal is to be open and available to help them with all of these concerns; time management, bills, future careers, and just mere survival.
Question: What are some of the ways you are addressing world issues with your students?
Answer: We will try and reach all of our students both as a whole and within individual classrooms, where appropriate, to address world issues. The never ending bullying cycle and woes of social media are always at the helm of these conversations. We learn from the students just as much as we strive to teach and prepare them for the 21st century world that we all live in.