St. Tammany School Board gets visit from former LA Laker Chris Duhon

Chris Duhon
Chris Duhon

Former Los Angeles Laker Chris Duhon quietly slipped into the back of the St. Tammany Parish School Board chambers in Covington on Thursday night, after a group of recent graduates — recipients of Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation scholarships — had already been introduced and ushered out.

But St. Tammany Parish School Superintendent Trey Folse wasn’t about to let the famous Salmen High School alumnus go unrecognized.

He called Duhon up to the podium, pointing out his career at Duke University and as a member of the NBA. But mainly Folse praised Duhon for maintaining strong ties with the St. Tammany Parish community.

“He never forgot where he came from,’’ Folse said. And when student athletes and others approached him, “he always found time for them,’’ Folse said.

Duhon said that he would soon be hosting a dinner for the scholarship recipients and their families.

“That’s something we love to do,’’ he said. “This is always home, where people helped me to achieve my dream.’’ He said he wanted to do the same for other young people.

The scholarship recipients included: Leslie Malcolm “Mac” Blakes, Lakeshore High School; Gisell Callahan, Covington High School; Jacob McKay, Mandeville High School; Christopher Milligan, Slidell High School; and Desiree Williams, Covington High.

Each of the students, who were chosen for community service and academic performance, received $5,000.

The School Board’s short agenda included a resolution to authorize the advertising of sealed bids for $20 million in general obligation bonds. A special meeting will be held Aug. 20 to receive the bids and adopt resolutions accepting the bid and issuing the bonds.

The money will be used for technology and security updates, including the purchase of testing computers, needed software and classroom wiring. About $5 million will be used for capital improvement plans and temporary classrooms while construction is being done.

Voters authorized the sale of up to $135 million in 20-year bonds to be repaid with property tax revenue, and these are the first stemming from that proposition.

The School Board also gave final approval to construction projects at Slidell High, Fifth Ward Junior High and Carolyn Park Middle School.

Two new administrators were introduced at Thursday’s meeting. Christian Monson, who was assistant principal at Salmen High School, was named principal of Boyet Junior High School. Lynn Walters-Rauenhorst, the school-to-work coordinator at Northshore High School, will now be that school’s assistant principal.