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May, 2013



Organic Garden Harvested

Students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School reaped the rewards of their efforts planting and tending this year’s organic garden project with a Garden-to-Table Cooking event on Wednesday, May 8. They met in the school’s cafeteria and enjoyed cleaning and preparing the vegetables in a special lunchtime meal.

On Monday the fifth grade, working with the Junior Master Gardeners, harvested all the cabbage, green onions, and carrots, cleaned them, and made garden coleslaw. On Wednesday morning, the cafeteria was filled with students as they worked with their harvest to make organic Asian Chicken Wraps. The sixth grade students harvested and prepared the cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and snow peas for the stir-fry. The fourth grade harvested and prepared Swiss chard, various lettuces, spinach, herbs, and microgreens for the wraps.








Honor Roll Prize Give-a-Way


Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s third grading period Honor Roll students enjoyed breakfast with their families on April 19th. That afternoon, Honor Roll students’ names were placed in a drawing for a Nook. PTA sponsors the Honor Roll Give-a-Way each grading period. The drawing is always for an electronic prize. This grading period was a lucky fifth grader, Ethan Dennies, pictured above.


Harvest and Garden-To-Table

The Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s Whole School Organic Garden Harvest and Garden-to-Table Cooking is now underway!

The middle school students transplanted the entire garden in their science classes, learning the organic gardening method of companion planting.

The Junior Master Gardeners (gifted students) and garden club students faithfully tended the garden all winter and spring. The Nutrition Advisory Council has been helping all the students compost in the cafeteria in order to enrich the soil, suppress disease, and increase crop yield. Their hard work is evident in the overwhelming bounty in the organic garden!

On Monday morning, the 5th grade with the Junior Master Gardeners (gifted students) harvested all the cabbage, green onions, and carrots, clean them, and make garden coleslaw.

On Wednesday morning, the 6th students will harvest and prepare the cauliflower, broccoli, Bok Choi, and snow peas for the stir-fry. The 4th grade will harvest and prepare Swiss Chard, various lettuces, spinach, herbs, and microgreens for the wraps.

April, 2013


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival
Held at Bayou Lacombe

In connection with Global Youth Service Day, the students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School held a community outreach Saturday afternoon, April 27, with a special "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Day." Several community organizations joined in the event, which featured informational booths spotlighting a variety of environmental sustainability projects and ideas, ranging from healthy eating and healthy living to a healthy worldwide community.

Raising money to buy an African family a dairy goat

Plant sale tent

In the field across from the school

The coloring booth

The Goodwill booth

Checking out the plants

The composting bin in action

Plant sellers

Herbal variety

Handmade herbal soap

The recycling tent

Community members visit the festival



BLMS Athletes Compete


Bayou Lacombe Middle School was well-represented at Lakeshore High at the Annual Fitness Meet. Four fourth graders were chosen to lead the pack: Malcolm Casnave, Kristian Stubbs, Jaycedi Wust, and Makayla Wilson. The students were chosen because they exemplified everything it took to be leaders; respect, participation, great sportsmanship and hard work. Jaycedi Wust took 1st in the 600 yard run (a lap and a half around the track) and Malcolm Casnave won third.  All participants represented BLMS well, displaying sportsmanship and a competitive drive. The administrators, staff, and student body at BLMS couldn't be more proud of the students. In the photo from left to right are Kristian Stubbs, Makayla Wilson, Malcolm Casnave, and Jaycedi Wust.



Bayou Lacombe Student Named
District Student of the Year

Anthony Dumas of Bayou Lacombe Middle School was recently named District Student of the Year in the Elementary Division (Fifth Grade). He is shown here with Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III (left) and his teacher Rebekah Ellis. Dumas, 11, is the son of Anthony and Stephanie Dumas of Lacombe. He is active with the Bayou Lacombe Middle School organic garden project, community football and baseball programs, and has received several academic awards. He tutors elementary students in the 21st Century After School Care and helped his dad coach a girl’s softball team. He plans to attend the University of Oregon to study architecture.

Attending the School Board meeting in Slidell to congratulate Anthony were Principal Patrick Woods, left, and School Board member Willie B. Jeter.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival
for Global Youth Service Day

Elementary, middle, junior high, and high school students are partnering with Keep Lacombe Beautiful, Concerned Citizens of Lacombe, Junior Corps, and many more for the upcoming Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Festival on Saturday, April 27.

For more information visit

Events will take place from noon to 4 p.m. in the Bayou Lacombe Middle School Field, 27527 St Joseph St, Lacombe, LA 70445

This year for Global Youth Service Day, the students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School decided to incorporate all of their past community sustainability “Go Green” efforts into one massive community outreach: Lacombe’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Day. It will be a “global garden gumbo”: a mix of people from all walks of life and a mix of all environmental sustainability areas into one pot of healthy eating, healthy living, healthy community.

The students will organize tents around the playground into booths:

(1) composting for the organic garden,
(2) recycling—plastic & aluminum drink containers and cardboard,
(3) clothing donations for Goodwill
(4) canned food donations for Mt. Olive Feeding Ministry soup kitchen,
(5) Bake Sale for African communities (Heifer International), and
(6) Organic Farmers Market

This will achieve their goal of educating the community about Nutritionally Healthy Lives: growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing fresh organic foods. At the Farmers Market booth, the students will provide informational pamphlets educating the community in the specific benefits and uses of their herbs and herbal products in addition to selling their fresh herbs, herbal soaps and teas, hand-painted butterfly houses, organic products (pesto, salsa, dried peppers, etc.) and spring vegetable and flower seedlings and seeds.

The compost booth will collect compost donations from the community (egg shells, coffee grinds, fruit/veggie scraps, and oak leaves) and provide informational pamphlets to the community about the methods and benefits of Sustainable Living through Composting and educate the public about reducing waste in the school cafeteria as well as in their homes by converting it into “magic food” for the soil; additionally, composting is necessary to restore/replace worn-out and contaminated soil and to suppress plant diseases.

The Goodwill clothing drive and Mt. Olive Feeding Ministry canned food drive will increase the Philanthropic Environmental Stewardship of the community and encourage them to reuse and reduce by donating to those in need in our surrounding communities. Annually, the Feeding Ministry supplies more than 88,000 meals (8,000 lunches per month) to the needy, elderly and homebound; serving hot meals daily and delivering to the elderly and homebound.

The bake sale for African communities will raise money for the students to purchase a goat through Heifer International. The gift of a dairy goat represents a lasting, meaningful way to help children on the other side of the world. The gift of a dairy goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day - a ton of milk a year. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families learn to use goat manure to fertilize gardens. Goats often have two or three kids a year making it easy for Heifer recipients to pass on the gift of a goat to another family in need. Donating a goat allows African families to lift themselves out of poverty by starting small dairies that earn money for food, health care and education.

March, 2013


Rep. Hollis Visits Campus

Representative Paul Hollis spent the day at Bayou Lacombe Middle School teaching a 4 th grade lesson on government and then working in the school cafeteria. 

Hollis with a panel of students : Megan Gutierrez, Jolie Gosier,
Representative Hollis, Keithan Ducre, and Elizabeth Spellman

He began his day with a lesson on how laws go to committee s and the process of hearing from witnesses.  Rep. Hollis explained that issues become possible laws if they make it out of committee.  He had volunteers sit beside him as part of the committee he chaired.  The issue presented to the students and committee was “Should the driving age be decreased to 12 years old?” He took “ expert ” testimony from the students in the crowd and discussed it with his committee.

Hollis receiving hat : Representative Hollis, Ellie Schroder (TRT), and
Pat Farris (Supervisor of Food Services)

After the lesson, Rep. Hollis put on his apron and hat and got ready to serve lunch .   He served the potatoes in the lunch line to each grade level.  Between each serving, he visited with the students.  The sixth grade class autographed his hat as a memento of his visit to Bayou Lacombe Middle.

Theresa Burrell, Ingrid Mullen, Angela Lewis, Dionne Harrell (Cafeteria Manger), Representative Hollis, and Pat Farris (Supervisor of Food Services)

Rep. Hollis and Alana Batiste

What's for lunch?



February, 2013


Black History Month

Students presented a special program for Black History Month.

Black History Month was celebrated at Bayou Lacombe Middle during the month of February, at which time, the many contributions of African Americans were recognized on the broadcast each morning. Each day, students read a short biography of accomplished Black Americans.  There was a school program in the gymnasium on February 8th.  Each grade level and the school chorus and band, performed in honor of Black History Month.  Dorable Dangerfield, Supervisor of Human Resources, was the keynote speaker for the event. (pictured: Anthony Dumas, BLMS Student of the Year, and Dorable Dangerfield.)





Organic Garden Gets Grant

Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant® to Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s organic garden. The grant will fund a whole-school composting program and a greenhouse to help maintain the sustainability of the organic garden outdoor classroom.

On Tuesday, February 19, four Slidell Lowe’s employees met with Gifted Program Teacher Rebekah Ellis, the gifted students, and Principal Patrick Woods to present the award and help put together a donated 8 foot by 10 foot greenhouse and 7 foot by 7 foot supply shed. The Lowe’s employees in attendance were Richard Jancas, Megan Meyers, Ricki Hannah, and Zachary Lovas.

Pacing out the dimensions of the hot house

The “outdoor classroom” organic garden and composting project provides a setting for students to learn environmental stewardship, sustainable living, entrepreneurial skills, and nutritional health in addition to challenging the students in every aspect of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills.

The gifted students established the organic garden two years ago, but now the project is broadening to incorporate the entire school and make the organic garden self-sustainable through large-scale composting. This phase of the project is scheduled to be fully functioning by May 2013.

“Lowe’s is committed to recognizing and supporting efforts that enrich the lives of our neighbors and customers,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By supporting schools like Bayou Lacombe Middle, we know we are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees and helping build stronger communities.”

Since its inception in 2006, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education has provided more than $34 million in grants to 7,500 schools, benefiting more than 4 million schoolchildren. Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects.

The Town and Country Garden Club of West St. Tammany awarded the Bayou Lacombe Middle School Organic Garden project with a check for $500 in early December to begin the composting part of the effort.

The garden was originally designed and built when the school’s gifted students partnered with the employees from the local Home Depot and the Louisiana Master Gardener Program. The students also decided to take part in the Louisiana Junior Master Gardener Program and joined the LSU AgCenter’s School Gardens Project to electronically track their seeds from germination to harvest.

The Garden to Table experience provides students with hands-on food education while learning to build and maintain a garden according to organic principles, as well as grow and harvest a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. In that phase of the project, the students will prepare various delicious dishes from the produce they have grown. Thus the garden and kitchen together provide a real-life context for learning, interweaving the theories and practices behind growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal foods.

Overall, the organic garden project functions as an “outdoor classroom” challenging the students in all aspects of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills, Ms. Ellis said. In designing the organic garden, students learned analytical thinking and reasoning skills, using mathematics in diagramming the garden blueprints, calculating the supplies needed for the garden and appropriate transplanting measurements.

The students are also gaining scientific knowledge by learning about the complex interrelationships between plants, insects, soil and people. Language skills are expanded when the students write grant proposals, and visual art skills are advanced as they design and create the Farmer’s Market advertising fliers. In addition, the participants build positive community relationships working with the Farmer’s Market and local soup kitchens.

The entire experience encourages the students to develop and refine their horticultural and environmental skills, expand their knowledge of health and family consumer sciences and study environmental stewardship and sustainable living. “All this while they grow fresh produce and create meals with their own vegetable and herb garden harvest,” Ms. Ellis stated.

As an extended community outreach, the students decided to donate all of the proceeds from the sale of their produce at Farmer’s Markets (and any remaining produce not sold) to local soup kitchens.

PTA Sponsors Give-a-Way

Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s second grading period Honor Roll students enjoyed breakfast with their family on February 1st and, that afternoon, had their name in a drawing for a Nook. PTA sponsors the Honor Roll Give-A-Way each grading period. The drawing is for an electronic prize. This grading period one lucky fourth grader, Rosalie Guidera, received a Nook Reader.


Run and Finish Visitor Speaks

On Thursday, January 31, 2013, students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School had a surprise motivational speaker.  On his way biking across America, Chris Nicholas stopped for a while to share his goal and motivation with the students at Bayou Lacombe Middle.  In early 2012 Chris ran across the U.S. becoming the 30th individual to run solo across the U.S.. In October of 2012 (the same year), Chris began an attempt to become the first person to run TWICE within 12 consecutive months across the U.S., but that run fell short 1,000 miles due to knee issues. Instead of stopping, Chris is finishing the remaining 5,000 miles cycling! He will cover 3 sides of the U.S. from Maine to Florida then to California and up to Portland Oregon, all for the Wounded Warrior Project, Make-A-Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children's Hospital.


February Students of the Month

Each month at Bayou Lacombe Middle School, students who display good character and citizenship are chosen by their teacher as “Student of the Month”. The February Students of the Month are (front row) Daquan Young, Jeffery Fayard, Tyler Haffner, Rebecca Lopez (back) Jaycedi Wust, Kelci Daniels, Robbie Ruschmeier, Morgan Faciane, and Paulina Adams.



Cardinal Cash Spent
for Hornets Items

Students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School earn Cardinal Cash to use on various rewards during the school year. Throughout the year, students are given the opportunity to place as much of their Cardinal Cash as they would like into a drawing for Hornets items. Most recently, the lucky winners were (front row) Remmie Guidera, Terriona Batiste, Hailey Givens, (back row) Kelci Daniels, Cyerra Batiste, Erica Ponthier, Kayla Gleber, Tristan Coakley, Taylor Torregano, Maddison Pearson, Makayla Johnson, Sydney Sconza, and Katy Gillespie.


January, 2013


Honor Roll - 2nd Grading Period

4th Grade: (bottom row) Christopher Halley, Rosalie Guidera, Makayla Wilson, Kristian Stubbs, Keithan Ducre, Patriot Coleman, Madison Gutierrez, Sydney Sconza, Robbie Ruschmeier (second row) Jaycedi Wust, Maya Musgrove, Madison Gilmore, John Boyd, Remmie Guidera, Rai-lynn Jacobs, Anthony James, Dylan Newton, Jolie Gosier (3rd row) Christina Jaubert, Audrina Johnson, Ernesher Casnave, Maddison Pearson, Darion Byrd, Rebekah Swenson, Elena Cook (back row) Tyler Haffner, Brennan Edwards, Destiny Dedrick, Celestia Lengevin

5th Grade: (bottom row) Tracie Moreau, Lauryn Adams, Morgan Faciane, Maci Losch, Erica Ponthier, Randall Schneider, Mariah Abron, Brooke Pellegrin, Kristian Noullet (middle row) Jasmine Thomas, Arianna Pulido, Brianna Smith, Jada Williams, Yasmin Jackson, Justy Arceneaux, Lennon Middaugh, Theresa Miller (back row) Anthony Dumas, William Banks, Nena Levy, Megan Gonzalez, Adam Randolph, Ian Ocmond, and Cyerra Batiste

6th Grade: (bottom row) Taylor Torregano, Christina Smith, Rowan Durham, Kelci Daniels, Ashanti Eden, Paulina Adams, Summer Malanders, Kaylee Bech (second row) Hannah Musgrove, Jacob Stephens, Austin Juneau, Eric Kieper, and Haley Scheidel


Family Fun with
Math/Technology Night

Family Math/Technology night was held on Tuesday, January 15th. Students and family members participated in math learning games. The visitors were able to travel to different classrooms to take part in activities such as Multiplication and Division Bingo, Roll Them and Round Them, Calculator Talk, and Grocery Store Addition. After playing numerous math games, the students and their families were invited to the cafeteria for pizza, punch, cookies and chips. Everyone enjoyed their night! (Pictured: Christopher Bowman, Sarah Bowman, and Erica Bowman participating in Calculator Talk)


Social Studies Fair Held

Bayou Lacombe Middle School held its annual Social Studies Fair competition. Fair sponsor, 6th grade teacher, Kay Narcisse said, “This year is a little different. Our 6th grade students will be judged separately from our 4th and 5th grade due to the change in divisions.” All the students who participated presented their social studies topic to the judges. Various topics were displayed and students demonstrated knowledge of their topic.

Students and judges in the 6th grade division: From left to right are Austin Guneau, Bayou Women's Republican Club of Lacombe President Madelon Nohra, Kelci Daniels, BWRC member Dale Neale, and Taylor Ladner.

4th grade winners photo: Darion Byrd-Honorable Mention; Elena Cook-Honorable Mention; Jonathan Jackson- Honorable Mention; and Audrina Johnson-Third Place.

5th grade winners photo: Maci Losch-Honorable Mention; Taylor Simms- Second Place;Morgan Faciane- Third Place; Anthony Dumas-Second Place; and Matthew Laurent- First Place. Not pictured is Alana Batiste-First Place.

6th grade winners photo: Eric Kieper-First Place; Kelci Daniels- First Place; Racheal Butler- Honorable Mention; Kaylee Bech- Second Place; Taylor Torregano- Second Place; Terriona Batiste- Third Place; Merrianne Bryant- Honorable Mention; Shannon Amos- Honorable Mention; Jacob Stephens- Honorable Mention; and Ashanti Eden- Third Place.


Students of the Month

Each month at Bayou Lacombe Middle School, students who display good character and citizenship are chosen by their teacher as “Student of the Month”.  The January Students of the Month are (back row) Darion Byrd, Erica Ponthier, Kei’Asha Ducre, Taylor Ladner, Mykelle Hicks, and Patriot Coleman; and (front row) Madison Gilmore and Remmie Guidera. Not pictured is Victoria Schneider.



December, 2012



Anthony Dumas Named
Student of the Year

Each year schools around Louisiana choose a student to represent them as Student of the Year. This year’s Student of the Year chosen to represent Bayou Lacombe Middle is fifth grader Anthony Dumas. He was chosen to represent BLMS for his outstanding academic performance, leadership, and communication skills. Anthony has a variety of interests, including football, basketball and baseball. He is involved in the school’s garden where he is an expert with the plants he has chosen to care for and harvest. He has also participated in the Community Farmer’s Market where he was able to answer questions for potential customers. Anthony learned about giving back to the community when the students donated the proceeds and squash to Mount Olive Food Ministry.

Dancing Drums Grant

Bayou Lacombe Middle School Receives Grant from Target for Dancing Drums
Bayou Lacombe Middle School received a grant from Target, funding a high-energy interactive drum performance. The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe and healthy communities across the country. These efforts include Target’s long history of giving 5 percent of its profit to communities.

“At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with Bayou Lacombe Middle as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”

The grant brought Dancing Drums to all the students at Bayou Lacombe Middle. The students engaged in playing the rhythms, songs, and drums of West Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA. Every student performed playing drums and percussion instruments onstage. The multicultural performance was full of clapping, chanting, and drumming. The multicultural program and last week’s “Christmas Around the World Day” helped to increase cultural competence in BLMS students.

Pictured are Carrie Adams, Karissa Saucier, Kirstyn Hamilton, Jordan Wolfe, Alexa Cusimano, Seth Aubert, Matthew Laurent, Justy Arceneaux, Instructor Ms. Lindsay and Mr. Steve with Drum Soloist Theresa Miller.

Students Perform
Carols for Residents

Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s fourth grade chorus visited the Lacombe Nursing Centre on December 7th. The students visited with the residents and sang Christmas Carols. (Music teacher, Ms. “T” Hotard, front: Elena Cook, Sydney Sconza ,Rosalie Guidera, Madison Gilmore 2nd row Railynn Jacobs , Jade , Darion Byrd, Maddison Pearson, Malcolm Casnave back row Aaliyah Jones , Robbie Ruschmeier, and Tyriana Driver.


Principal’s Leadership Council
Holds Food Drive

The Bayou Lacombe Middle School Principal’s Leadership Council is comprised of representatives from each homeroom which serves as an advisory council to the Principal and assists in organizing the school/community events. The Council sponsored a food drive during the first two weeks of December. This year they exceeded last year’s donation by gathering over 1000 items which were donated to the Samaritan Center. Pictured are Council Members (Left to right): Kristian Stubbs, Railynn Jacobs, Sydney Sconza, Justy Arceneaux, Aaliyah Jones, Samaritan Center Program Coordinator Amy Ettinger, Mike Bannon, Makayla Palmer, Christina Smith, Keith Becnel, Ethan Dennies, Brennan Edwards, Kelci Daniels, Shalise Deflanders, Jada Williams, and Madison Gilmore. (Not pictured are Leadership Council Members: Jacoby Chatman, Elana Cook, William Foster, and Anthony James. )

Students Visit Christmas
Around the World

Students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School took part in an around-the-world tour of Christmas holiday traditions the morning of December 12th, visiting different classrooms for educational presentations on a number of countries.

The “Christmas Around the World Celebration” gave students the opportunity to travel from one “country” to another to learn about the culture, traditions, food and music related to Christmas season activities. Before the special project began, students each made their own “passport” which was stamped as they entered a different country, and gave them a place to take notes about the experience.

Teachers, some of whom were dressed in traditional costumes, taught the students how to say “Merry Christmas” in each country’s native language. Pictured are Carrie Adams, Karissa Saucier, Kirstyn Hamilton, Jordan Wolfe, Alexa Cusimano, Seth Aubert, Matthew Laurent, Justy Arceneaux, Instructor Ms. Lindsay and Mr. Steve with Drum Soloist Theresa Miller.

“This was a great opportunity for students to learn how people around the world celebrate Christmas and become more culturally competent,” said Principal Patrick Woods.

Passports complete with photographs ready for the journey

The cafeteria staff joined in the fun.


Science Fair Winners

Bayou Lacombe Middle School held its annual Science Fair on December 7th.

First place winners were Shannon Amos, Kaylee Bech, Jacob Stephens, Merrianne Bryant. Second place winners were Kiya Footman, Hannah Martin, and William Banks [not pictured].)

Third place winners were Oleavia Ducre, Jeffery Fayard, Taylor Simms, and Eric Kieper. Honor Mentions were Ian Ocmond, Lizeht Rodriguez, Jada Williams, and Kelci Daniels.)


Candy Sale

Many students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School participated in the candy sale. Mrs. Day’s class had the most sales and were treated to the event of “silly stringing” their Assistant Principal, Mr. Rod Thornhill, and their Principal, Mr. Patrick Woods. Students who sold at least one case (or more) of candy were invited to attend the Main Event Jump Party (pictured: Merrianne Bryant, Brandon Hoelzel, Destiny Dedrick, Marley Joseph, Brennan Edwards, Kristian Noullet, and Madison Gilmore).



Student of the Year Nominees

Each year a fifth grade student is selected to represent Bayou Lacombe Middle School as “Student of the Year”.  Winners are chosen for outstanding academic performance, leadership, service to others, and communication skills. This year Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s nominees were Arianna Pulido, William Banks, Maci Losch, and Anthony Dumas.  These students were nominated by their teachers based upon the previously mentioned criteria.  After much deliberation, Anthony Dumas was selected to represent his school at the district level.



Organic Garden Receives $500 Grant

The Town and Country Garden Club of West St. Tammany presented Teacher Rebekah Ellis of Bayou Lacombe Middle School with a check for $500 on the morning of December 6, the proceeds of a mini-grant awarded to the Organic Gardening project at the school. From left to right on the front row are Kristian Noullet, Celestia Langevin, Christine Jaubert, Emma Lober, Kelci Daniels, and Audrina Johnson. From left to right on the middle row are students Yasmin Jackson, Adrian Dumas, Anthony Dumas, Keithan Ducre, and Marley Joseph. On the back row, from left to right, are students Jim Dudenhefer, Austin Juneau, and Jacob Stephens. At far left is garden volunteer Linda Franzo and on the back row, from right to left, are Bobbie Abel with the Town and Country Garden Club, Principal Patrick Woods, Ms. Ellis, and Diane Bellas with the Town and Country Garden Club.

Garden Club Gives Bayou Lacombe
Garden Project $500 Grant

The Town and Country Garden Club of West St. Tammany awarded the Bayou Lacombe Middle School Organic Garden project with a check for $500 Thursday morning, the proceeds of a mini-grant awarded to Teacher Rebekah Ellis.

Principal Patrick Woods was on hand for the presentation, as were the 14 of the students who are taking part in the project. The garden has fostered connections to the community in a number of ways, from businesses such as Home Depot helping put the first one together, to students donating to area community service agencies funds raised by selling their produce.

Club officials read about the gardening project in the newspaper and wanted to help the students continue their efforts to plant and tend the wide variety of vegetables and herbs. The money will be used to purchase composting equipment.

The grant certificate was presented by Dianne Bellas and Bobbie Abel with the garden club. “Every year for the past four years, we have offered a $500 mini-grant to elementary and middle schools to encourage gardening,” Ms. Bellas said, “with the money coming from our bi-annual garage sale. The teachers submit a grant application and show us how the gardening can be used to teach a variety of things,” she said. The garden project is a cross-curriculum venture, calling upon skills in math, science, and community organization.

“This is a big project, one of the biggest gardens we’ve seen,” she went on to say. “And we particularly liked that it is a continuing one, that it shows sustainability. That’s the hard part. It’s easy to start a garden, but to continue to care for it and work it is where the success truly lies. It’s absolutely wonderful that they are giving the proceeds of their work to the community.”

Ms. Bellas was particularly interested in the plans for the children to learn how to cook with the produce they were growing in the garden. This will include planting ginger next week so the students can harvest their own ginger root and make gingerbread cookies. That project is being conducted by Advanced Master Gardener Linda Franzo who has been working as a volunteer with the students. She operates the Passionate Platter Herb Garden and cooking school in Slidell and visits Bayou Lacombe weekly, helping the students develop the knowledge and skills to better use the produce from the garden.

At a farmer’s market held in the nearby John Davis Park, the students recently raised close to $1000 by selling the produce raised in the garden earlier this year. Some $500 in proceeds from the first harvest sale last school year was donated to the Mount Olive Soup Kitchen in Slidell as part of the community service effort.

“Many children have no idea where their food comes from, so gardens like these are really important,” Ms. Bellas stated.


November, 2012


Principal for the Day

Fifth grader, Alana Batiste, was named “Principal for the Day” for selling the most candy in a fundraiser to benefit Positive Behavior Support at Bayou Lacombe Middle School.  Alana conducted Learning Walks, appeared on broadcast, made announcements, and gave out Cardinal Cash for positive behavior. She was an excellent principal and role model for BLMS students. Pictured are, from left to right, Assistant Principal Rod Thornhill; Principal for the Day, Alana Batiste and Principal Patrick Woods.


Students of the Month

Each month at Bayou Lacombe Middle School, students who display good character and citizenship are chosen by their teacher as “Student of the Month” and Principal, Mr. Woods, gets to have lunch with a great group of students. The November Students of the Month are (left) Marley Joseph, Jessica Foster, Hannah Musgrove, Taylor Torregano, Michael Moffett (right) Christopher Halley, Principal Patrick Woods, Haley Scheidel, and Sydney Sconza.



Organic Garden
Holds Farmers Market

The most recent harvest from the organic garden at Bayou Lacombe Middle School was sold at the second Farmer’s Market held by the gifted students program at John Davis Park in Lacombe on November 13.

Students sold a wide variety of organic produce, herbs, peppers, and scented soap to an appreciative crowd of community shoppers.

Students provided interested onlookers with detailed information about each item, its background and variety of uses. Teacher Rebekah Ellis noted that the students made organic soap from items grown in the herb garden, as well as four types of pesto and natural sweeteners from Stevia.

A large display of dried peppers was on hand for those interested in making salsa. Among the items for sale were sweet potatoes, snow peas, micro-greens, butterfly houses. A number of plants and seeds were also available.

The garden project began last year with extensive help from the local community businesses and Home Depot, as well as hands-on volunteer work by area gardeners.

The design, planting, and harvesting the garden required knowledge and skills in a number of areas, from science and mathematics, agriculture, and nutritional health.

Part of the program is the “Garden to Table” experience which provides students with hands-on food education while learning to build and maintain a garden according to organic principles. Overall, the organic garden project functions as an “outdoor classroom” challenging the students in all aspects of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills, Ms. Ellis said. The students also learn about the complex interrelationships between plants, insects, soil and people. 

Pictured above, a shopper at left completes a purchase with students Kelci Daniels, Audrina Johnson, and Austin Juneau.

For more photographs, click here.



Cardinal Cash Creates Opportunity

Students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School earn Cardinal Cash to use on various rewards during the school year. Throughout the year, students are given the opportunity to place as much of their Cardinal Cash as they would like into a drawing for Saints Jerseys.

Most recently the lucky winner was Malcolm Casnave.




Honoring Local Veterans


On November 9, Bayou Lacombe Middle School gathered to honor local veterans with a program that demonstrated gratitude for the service of all veterans. Lakeshore High Color Guard presented the colors to begin the recognition ceremony.  Guest speaker was Navy Commander Wayne Day who spoke about providing service to your country in whatever career choice you make.    Each grade-level performed, as well as band and chorus. At the end of the program, Veterans and their families were invited to have a picture taken to remember the event. 

The local VFW also recognized Veteran’s Day Essay Winners.  Winners: Christopher Bowman, Chris Roberts, Rowan Durham, Makayla Palmer  (VFW) Mickey Carroll and Willie Brice                                 . 

Veteran’s Honored Photo: Front Row: Commander Wayne Day, Andrew Guidera, Mark Arnett, Pat Burke, Mike McGovern, and Willie Brice. Back Row:  (color guard) Michael McGee, S.F.C. Walter Cousin, Tom Miller, Pat Dempsey, Mickey Carroll, (color Guard) and Quintin Spadoni.


October, 2012




LHS Student Gardeners Plant at Partner School BLMS

On Monday, October 22, 2012, Bayou Lacombe Middle School collaborated with the Lake Shore High School Agriculture Club to continue the beautification project started last year.  Amanda Lee, the Agriculture Club sponsor, brought seven Lakeshore High School students to BLMS for the entire day.  Pictured: Ms. Amanda Lee (sponsor), Drew Shaw, Dwayne Cousin, Tori Mitchell, Reggie Smith, Samantha Baxter, Johannes Christenson, and Alexis Schroder.




Building Community Partnerships

Mr. and Mrs. John Dussouy visited Bayou Lacombe Middle School on Tuesday, October 30th.  The couple made a generous donation to Bayou Lacombe Middle School to help purchase sweatshirts, and uniforms for students.  Pictured is the Principal’s Leadership Council who presented cards of thanks from our school to Mr. John Dussouy and his wife, Georgie Dussouy.  (Pictured are Sydney Sconza, Alex Kleck, Jacoby Chatman, Elena Cook, William Foster, Principal, Patrick Woods, Brennan Edwards, Eric Kieper, Railynn Jacobs, Mr. John Dussouy, Ethan Dennies, Shalise Deflanders, Aaliyah Jones,  Mrs. Georgie Dussouy, Kelci Daniels, Anthony James, Justy Arceneaux, Kristian Stubbs, Christina Smith, Makayla Palmer, and Jada Williams)




PTA Sponsors
Honor Roll Give-a-Way

Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s first grading period Honor Roll students enjoyed breakfast with their families on October 25th and that afternoon had their name in a drawing for a Nook. PTA sponsors the Honor Roll Give-a-Way each grading period by drawing for an electronic prize. This grading period’s lucky winner was a fourth grader, Sydney Sconza.


Honor Roll Students

4th Grade: Elena Cook, Marley Joseph, Mya Musgrove, Keithan Ducre, Jaycedi Wust, Sydney Sconza, Anthony James, Audrina Johnson, Makayla Wilson, Jolie Gosier, Rosalie Guidera, Madison Gutierrez, Alana Landor, Celestia Langevin, Rebekah Swenson, John Boyd, Ernesher Casnave, Tristan Coakley, Patriot Coleman, Remmie Guidera, Christopher Halley, Railynn Jacobs, Aaliylah Jones, Emma Lober, Garbrielle Wilson-Romero, Tyler Haffner, Robbie, Ruschmeier (absent from photo: Madison Gilmore, Kyle Piazza, and Jose Aguina)

5th Grade: Anthony Dumas, Arianna Pulido, Jada Williams, Lauryn Adams, Yasmin Jackson, Theresa Miller, Tracie Moreau, Kristian Noullet, Erica Ponthier, Karissa Saucier, Brianna Smith, Anisa Sewell, Justy Arceneaux, William Banks, Morgan Faciane, Megan Gonzalez, Lennon Middaugh, Brooke Pellegrin, Jasmine Thomas, Cyerra Batiste, Joslyn Bedford, Ethan Dennies, Brandon Hoelzel, Nena Levy, Ayanna Williams, Mariah Abron, Mykelle Hicks, Maci Losch, Michael Moffett, Ian Ocmond, Jacoby Chatman, Matthew Laurent, Kane Powell, Lizeht Rodriguez, Jordon Wolfe (absent from photo: Amiah Cousin)

6th Grade: Kelci Daniels, Ashanti Eden, Austin Juneau, Kaylee Bech, Hannah Musgrove, Courtney Blanchard, Rowan Durham, Makayla Palmer, Racheal Butler, Haleigh Sartalamacchia, Eric Kieper, Summer Malanders, Haley Scheidel, Christina Smith, and Taylor Torregano (absent from photo: Jacob Stephens)


Carl Arredondo Visits

WWL Chief Meteorologist Carl Arredondo visits Bayou Lacombe Middle School annually to speak with the fourth graders about careers in meteorology. He recently spoke to the fourth graders at BLMS, who asked great questions and provided small gifts to show appreciation. Pictured are Gage Ainsworth, Elena Cook, and Mr. Carl Arredondo.



Rolling Out the Red Carpet


The faculty, staff, and administration of Bayou Lacombe Middle recently “Rolled out the Red Carpet” for Chahta Ima Elementary Faculty and Staff in order to continue to meet the partnership goals of both schools. CIE staff was greeted with a “Red Carpet” as the “Paparazzi” snapped photos. BLMS PTA treated both faculties with an excellent meal. Also recognized at the luncheon was Mr. Tommy Lee Jones who recently retired after 20 years of driving a school bus for St. Tammany.



Gary Marlbrough, Principal of Chahta Ima, and
Patrick Woods, Principal of Bayou Lacombe Middle


Students of the Month

Each month at Bayou Lacombe Middle School, students who display good character and citizenship are chosen by their teacher as “Student of the Month”.  The October Students of the Month are Kristian Stubbs, Johnathen Pope, Audrina Johnson, Jasmine Thomas, Ernesher Casnave, Madison Gutierrez, Courtney Blanchard, and Eric Kieper. (not pictured: Joslyn Bedford)




September, 2012


Lucky Jersey Winners

Students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School earn Cardinal Cash to use on various rewards during the school year. Frequently throughout the year, students are given the opportunity to place as much of their Cardinal Cash as they would like into a drawing.  Two lucky students got their cash pulled. In exchange, they won a Saints jersey. Our first lucky winners are Courtney Blanchard and Robbie Ruschmeier.



September Students of the Month

Each month at Bayou Lacombe Middle School students who display good character and citizenship are chosen by their teachers as Student of the Month. The September Students of the Month are Jada Williams, Maddison Pearson, Shalise Deflanders, Anthony James, Rowan Durham, Jacoby Chatman, Racheal Butler, Makayla Wilson, Kayla Gleber, and Jolie Gosier.


August, 2012

Garden Move Finished

A large group of community volunteers finished moving the school's garden to the new garden area Sunday, August 5. There are still a few finishing touches to be done. It has been an intense labor (hard manual labor) of love by the students, parents, grandparents, and community volunteers!

These past two weeks Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s garden family—parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, teachers, members of Concerned Citizens of Lacombe and North Shore Democratic Women’s Club, and the Home Depot team—helped the students transplant their entire garden to a new, larger location! Mrs. Ellis, the students, and Mrs. Linda Franzo (Louisiana Master Gardener) essentially started over from scratch, expanding from a 40’ to 70’ garden!

The fabulous organic garden that the community helped create (overflowing with okra, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and hot peppers, squash, melons, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers) had to be moved so the school board maintenance crew could do repair work on the adjacent buildings. However, St. Tammany Parish School Board officials offered to give them a bigger space for the garden.

Days before the garden transplant, Rebekah Ellis, Henrietta Jacobs and her young relatives (ages 9-14), Danesha, Rai-lynn, Maya, and AAliya, worked for two days tilling the entire compacted garden area, building the rows, and digging a two-foot perimeter around the garden for the rock path.

Mrs. Ellis stated, “Henrietta and her girls were amazing! I would also like to give special thanks to Coach Willie B. Jeter and the St. Tammany Parish Recreation District for their support as we scooped the loads of dirt and gravel and tilled the rows. They are our “Garden Angels” without whom the garden transplant would never have happened, and we are forever grateful for their amazing generosity!”

The “garden troops” (parents, students, teachers and their families, the Home Depot team, and members of Concerned Citizens of Lacombe and North Shore Democratic Women’s Club) worked tirelessly through the nights. The “Garden Troops” armed with wheelbarrows, shovels, trowels, and garden gloves worked simultaneously in teams: removing the plants, transporting and hand-transplanting each plant, designing and laying the rock path, setting up the irrigation system and garden fencing, moving the bird and butterfly garden, and organically fertilizing each plant. There was a job for even the smallest of helpers! The Lacombe Fire Department even brought the fire truck for the kids to play and explore.

It was important that they transplanted all the plants in the evening when the sun would not damage them and they will have the best chance of survival. This was crucial for survival of the garden because it is overflowing with amazing fruits and vegetables, and they tried to save as many as they could. Mrs. Ellis, her students, and their families have continued working every night this week to complete the garden!

The new garden is 70' x 20' with a beautiful stone pathway around the garden (donated by Home Depot). The garden will include the entire school next year as the students will participate in science, art, cooking, and technology lessons in the garden!

The students will participate in "Garden to Table" cooking activities with Louisiana Master Gardener Linda Franzo. The “Garden to Table” activities provide the students with the knowledge and skills needed to live nutritionally healthy and environmentally sustainable lives. In the garden, the students will prepare various delicious dishes from the produce they have grown as they discover the pleasures of hands-on food education while learning to build and maintain an organic garden and grow and harvest a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. The garden and kitchen provide a real-life open-ended learning experience--growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing fresh organic foods.

The organic garden functions as an "outdoor classroom" challenging the students in all aspects of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills. The garden is not simply horticultural skills and natural sciences but advanced mathematical skills in diagramming the garden layout, calculating the supplies needed for the garden and appropriate transplanting measurements; Language Arts skills in writing garden poetry, grant proposals, and publishing garden storybooks; Technological skills by employing soil moisture, temperature, and pH probes and Internet research in becoming horticultural experts; Social Studies skills as they build positive community relationships with the Farmer’s Market; and entrepreneur skills in running a business.

The students also learn the intrinsic value of philanthropy—the joy of giving from their hard work to those in need. Moreover, the students will continue to develop and refine their horticultural and environmental skills, expand their knowledge of health and family and consumer sciences and study environmental stewardship and sustainable living while they grow fresh produce (free of pesticides, hormones, and chemicals) and create meals with their vegetable and herb garden harvest.

Mrs. Ellis and her students will be teaching hands-on science and horticulture lessons in the garden as well as incorporating hi-tech gardening. At the start of the year, the students will be giving a professional development workshop for the teachers demonstrating the use of Go!Link probes and sensors in their classrooms and in the garden. The students will then serve as experts with the teachers as the science classrooms move outdoors to the garden where all the students will experience the wonders of hi-tech gardening with sensors.

Mrs. Ellis and her students use the temperature probe, pH sensor, and soil moisture sensor to incorporate the most modern techniques into their organic garden and to ensure a high produce yield. The students carry the laptops (with the probes/sensors connected) into the garden, and as the probes/sensors are inserted into the soil, they upload immediate data which is plotted into charts and graphs in real time. This data is used to diagnose potential soil, nutrient, or water problems. Each of Mrs. Ellis’ students will continue to become an expert for one particular fruit or vegetable. This entails hours of research and hands-on cultivation and experimentation.

“Words cannot express my overwhelming gratitude for everyone’s generosity and very hard work! I am so blessed and honored to be part of such an amazing community and family of friends! I would also like to give special thanks to Rodney and Karen James, Rick Franzo, John Robert Ellis, Jeanne Revere, Rudy Arevalo, Michelle Day, Kay Narcisse, Dana Dumas, Andrea Roberts, Cody Stephens, and Denise, Charles, Kaylee, Sophie and Logan Labella for their amazing hard work and generosity.”

Front Row: Henrietta Jacobs, Joseph Dumas, Adrian Dumas, Jacob Stephens
Second Row: Danesha Jacobs, Rai-lynn Jacobs, Kristian Noullet, Linda Franzo
Third Row: Wanda Farbe, Therese Hotard, AAliya Jones, Kennedy Walker, MaKayla Walker
Fourth Row: Angelle Noullet, Tom Aicklen, Kelci Daniels, Rebekah Ellis, Yasmin Jackson
Fifth Row: CaTina Walker, Ann Kirkpatrick, Maya Laurent, Alisa McCollums, Dana Dumas, Billy Kirkpatrick

Harvest Before the Move

Starting Over

AAliya Jones, Danesha Jacobes, Rai-lynn Jacobs and Henrietta Jacobs
prepare the ground

AAliya Jones

First Night Transplanting

Music teacher Ms. Hotard with wheelbarrow

Rick Franzo and Adrian Dumas laying the stone path

Alisa McCollums and Maya Laurent

Rebekah Ellis and Denise Labella

Kristian Noullet, Kaylee and Sophie Labella

Rai-Lynn Jacobs

Second Night Transplanting

Laying stone path: Kelci Daniels, Adrian Dumas, B. J. Walker,
Kristian Noullet and Yasmin Jackson

Installing the fence: Rai-Lynn Jacobs, Maya Laurent, MaKayla Walker,
Danesha Jacobs, AlisaMcCollums, and AAliyaJones

Teachers Kay Narcise and CaTina Walker

Third Night Transplanting

Joseph Dumas

Kristian Noullet

Planting strawberries: Cody Stephens, Jacob Stephens, Joseph Dumas,
and Dana Dumas

Final Garden

Final Herb garden: Kristian Noullet



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