The Livingston Parish school system has a new message.
After vowing to come back stronger than ever, the school system hopes to make a difference... everyday.
Soon enough, signs will pop up across Livingston Parish bearing that four-word message.
Superintendent Joe Murphy officially revealed the school system’s new mantra of “Livingston M.A.D.E.” on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
The rebranding of “Livingston M.A.D.E.” — which stands for “Make A Difference Everyday” — was shown to principals during their monthly meeting, which was held in the school system’s new STEM and Robotics Center in Denham Springs.
After the meeting, Murphy explained his reasoning for the brand change in a phone interview with The News.
“This is more of our district message,” he said. “It’s about us being able to make a difference in not only our children’s lives, but make a difference in our parents and community. We want to be a real part of the community and develop partnerships with the community to really make a difference in Livingston Parish.”
“Stronger than Ever” became the rallying cry for the Livingston Parish school system after the Great Flood of 2016. During that time, former Superintendent Rick Wentzel and school officials wanted the public to know it would bounce back from the devastation that still has three schools on temporary campuses.
Recovery steadily progressed in the remaining years of Wentzel’s tenure and has continued to do so under Murphy, who was promoted to superintendent of the 26,000-student school system last April.
After becoming superintendent, Murphy said he started thinking it was time to drop the “Stronger than Ever” slogan and find a new message — one that reflected the school system’s new thought process as it moves forward from the August 2016 flood.
“Livingston M.A.D.E.” fit the bill.
“Coming in as the new superintendent, I wanted a message that I thought the district could get behind,” Murphy said later. “After having conversations with our staff at the central office, we wanted to find something we thought would resonate with not only the kids, but the adults and the public. This is what we settled on.”
Murphy said he plans to make the new branding available to all 46 schools, which will be able to order “a fleet of products” bearing the “Livingston M.A.D.E.” slogan from the school system’s print shop.
“From the district office, you’re going to start seeing this everywhere,” Murphy said, “and I hope the schools follow suit.”
Much has happened in the school system in four months under Murphy.
This year, the school system opened its new STEM and Robotics Center, a multi-purpose facility that serves as a satellite campus for Denham Springs High to enrich students’ learning in science, technology, engineering, and math. This summer, two new 16-classroom buildings were completed and are now in use at Albany High and Albany Lower Elementary.
During the “State of the Parish” address Aug. 14, Murphy said bids will soon be sought for new schools to house Denham Springs Elementary, Southside Junior High and Southside Elementary. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared that the three schools were “substantially damaged” in the August 2016 flood, requiring demolition.
The school system has also exceeded pre-flood enrollment by “200 to 250 children,” Murphy said during the Aug. 14 address.
This year, the school system also unveiled a new “Glass Class” at Eastside Elementary. The innovative learning space combines flexible seating, glass walls, 21st-century technology, and peer-to-peer learning to take students outside the traditional “four walls” of the classroom.
“Education has changed,” Murphy said. “We cannot instruct kids the way we used to instruct kids. We have to adjust.”