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Drew Elementary named Louisiana Comeback Campus

Posted Date: 02/21/2024

Drew Elementary named Louisiana Comeback Campus

Ouachita Parish School Board is proud to announce that Drew Elementary School has been named as a “Louisiana Comeback Campus” by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE).

Drew, which serves Kindergarten-5th Grade students, is one of only 40 schools in the entire state to earn the recognition for the 2022-23 school year. A school is considered for the distinction by increasing its percentage of students scoring mastery and above on the statewide assessment in math and English Language Arts (ELA). The elementary school located in District B also showed a decrease in the percent of students scoring unsatisfactory on the statewide assessment in math and ELA.

"We could not be prouder of Drew and their well-deserved accomplishment,” said Todd Guice, Superintendent of Ouachita Parish School System. “The Drew leadership, teachers, staff, and students work so hard every day to attain goals like this. We are very happy and proud of Drew!"

A reception was held at Drew Elementary on Wednesday morning to celebrate the achievement. Longtime Principal Sharyl Boudreau, who left the school district earlier this month to take a job in Shreveport, returned to the campus where she spent 28 years as principal to congratulate her former staff and students.

“I was just so incredibly proud,” Boudreau said when she heard the news of the award. “It really took me back to the week of testing because I knew there was just this feeling in the air because the kids were just so engaged and so proud of their accomplishments. Every day I would go in and give them a treat if they tried really hard. They were so motivated and the teachers had been so motivated. You could just feel it in the hall, and so I wasn’t surprised, but just extremely proud.”

Boudreau joked she had to take a day off from her new job at Magnolia School of Excellence, where she is only on Day 11, to share in the celebration. Drew’s achievements on the statewide assessment took place under her leadership from the past school year, but she is quick to not take the credit.

“We are truly Team Drew,” Boudreau said. “It’s not just because of me. I showed up and did my job and worked alongside some amazing people.”

Interim principal Jenea Freeman is one of those people, having worked close to Boudreau for the past 23 years – first as a teacher and then as her assistant principal. Both of Freeman’s children went through Drew Elementary, and she calls it the best place, not just in Ouachita Parish, but anywhere.

“I’m extremely blessed that she (Boudreau) has left me with this amazing school,” Freeman said. “We’ve had her leadership for 28 years. Our teachers are here working hard every day, and our students are working hard every day. We aren’t just preparing for that one week of testing. We’re preparing to create good citizens, ultimately, but it is nice to see our hard work be recognized.”

As Freeman gets acclimated to her new role as interim principal, Rachel Hendricks is doing the same as she moves from the classroom and into the interim assistant principal position. Hendricks taught third through fifth grade Social Studies at Drew for the past seven years and was able to celebrate with some of her former students who were in the gym for the special recognition on Wednesday morning.

“I tell people you get to see everything inside the walls of this building, but if I wasn’t here there’s still nowhere else I would want my kids to go – my own kids,” Hendricks said. “This is where I want them to be. This is the most amazing place.”

The Louisiana Comeback campaign is in its second year. The Louisiana Department of Education created the campaign to recover and accelerate learning lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew Elementary is the second school in the Ouachita Parish School District to earn the recognition. Boley Elementary received the distinction last February as part of the campaign’s first year.