East St. John High School
St. John the Baptist Parish is a small rural town with a population of 45,221 people. St. John has a diverse racial make up of 53.6% African American, 44.0% Caucasian American, 2.9% Hispanic, 0.4% Asian, 0.4American Indian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 1.2% two or more races (Census, 2010). This rural town is located thirty minutes west of New Orleans and forty-five minutes east of Baton Rouge; almost centered between two of the largest cities in the state. The median housing cost is $146,700 compared to the state average of $130,000 (Census, 2010). There are 78% homeowners compared to 22% renters, however 15.5% renters in St. John are below the poverty level compared to the state level of 18.1% (Census, 2010). Within the population, 85.1% of citizens over the age of twenty-five possess a high school diploma. That is almost parallel to the state average of 85%. When it comes to possessing a degree though, only 15.8% of the citizens over twenty five possess a degree, which is lower than the 20.9% state average. Eight communities comprise the whole of St. John Parish. On the west bank of the river lies the sprawling towns of Lucy, Edgard and Wallace. This area is primarily agricultural. Rows and rows of sugar cane cover the fields. The east bank has LaPlace, Reserve, Lions, Garyville and Mt. Airy, each a thriving, bustling community. Industries follow along the river, including a chemical plant, sugar refinery, hot sauce factories, grain elevators and an oil refinery.
The people of St. John have retained many old customs. Country fairs are held frequently to raise funds for worthy causes. On Christmas Eve the river road is lined with visitors who have come to view the bon fires that dot the levees on both sides of the river. At one time a bridal shower was a collection of useful gifts from each household for the bride to set up housekeeping . Showers given to the bride of today generally involve every friend, relative and acquaintance. St. John is so proud of its andouille, that LaPlace has been designated "Andouille Capital of the World." The Andouille Festival is held every year in October.
School District Description
St. John Parish School District houses 6,318 students with ethnicity made up of 16.0% White, 78.8% Black, 4.2% Hispanic, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, and 0.4% Multiple Races (Leigh Ann Beard, Director of Human Resources, 2012). The twelve schools in St. John parish is made up of one Alternative School, one Pre-K school, 1 Grades 9-12 school, 1 Grades 8-12 school, and eight K-8 schools(Leigh Ann Beard, Director of Human Resources, 2012). Presently, there are 458 teachers, 299 paraprofessionals, and 113 specialized teachers who are part of the 526 total employees in the St. John Parish School System (Leigh Ann Beard, Director of Human Resources, 2012). The total district revenue per student is $11,049 (www.laeducationresults.com, 2012). The free lunch population is 88.7% of the total population (www.laeducationresults.com, 2012). St. John Parish is rated seventeenth in the state in salary competition with a first year teacher’s salary starting at $41,348 (Director of Human Resources, 2009). St John Parish Superintendent Herbert Smith was previously the parish’s assistant superintendent. He has made many changes at the district level to move the parish forward with technology, leadership, goal-oriented teams, positive behavior support and an emphasis on student achievement.
Founded in 1980 and located on the east bank of St. John parish, East St. John High School houses 9th-12th grade students with a total population of 1,328 The racial and ethnic breakdown at East St. John High School is14% white, 81% black, .04% Hispanic, .01% Asian, and .002% American Indian/Alaskan Native (WebPams, 2012). The gender is almost even with 49.5% males and 50.5% females