On any given day, Beaumont’s Jones-Clark Elementary School is bustling with activity. When company is expected, the atmosphere at the campus is only amplified. On a recent Friday, when Jones-Clark staff and students were expecting a list of the city’s who’s who, the energy was hardly containable.
“It really does take cooperation from a whole community to show our younger generation the path to greatness,” Jones-Clark principal Dr. Jackquelyn Lavergne said. Lavergne takes pride in being a hands-on administrator, leading the second largest elementary school in Beaumont ISD, tasked with educating more than 800 students daily. When asked about what makes Jones-Clark such a great campus, however, Lavergne is quick to point to fellow staff and the young students who are striving for scholarly excellence. The principal’s words were given specificity when Jones Clark Student Council Secretary Dailie Fontenot presented accolades to campus educators during a program scheduled for Feb. 15 to recognize several individuals instrumental in rearing tomorrow’s leaders.
“Dr. Lavergne, Miss (Tangie) Nelson, and Miss Guillory – you work so hard to help mold, guide and shape us into productive adults,” Fontenot said, speaking for the student council group and the student body as a whole. “We love and respect you very much.”
The program honoring Lavergne and others was spearheaded by the Jones-Clark student government, along with community liaison and campus parent Jenise Bush. Also in attendance were Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames; Beaumont City Council members W.L. Pate, Gethrel “Get” Williams-Wright and Alan Coleman; Jefferson County Commissioner Bo Alfred; Judge Terrance Holmes; and BISD Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois. All guests were treated to breakfast with the students before being ushered along on a tour of the campus library and auditorium. The local leaders were able to address the student body during the brief Friday program and took advantage of the time afterward to get to know some of the students one-on-one.
“It’s important for kids to get to know their council members and community leaders, and to learn what it means to give back to their community,” Mayor Ames said. “We have to teach them.”
Following the program, Ames added, “It’s just another great day in Beaumont.”
Superintendent Chargois, a familiar face to the children gathered for the program, spoke to the students about the importance of community awareness and involvement.
“It doesn’t stop here,” he said, indicating a life-long commitment to community service was necessary for generation after generation to continue to flourish.
“It was really wonderful of everyone to come and share with us,” campus community liaison Bush said. “I think it’s very important to expose these students to our local government and leaders, and the students really appreciate them making the time to come.”