LIVINGSTON – Greg Hayden now knows how Laine Hardy felt a couple of weeks ago.

The Juban Parc Junior High principal has made it to the final round and the whole state will be watching.

“Today I went to the Governor’s Mansion and the Capitol with Greg Hayden of Juban Parc Junior High,” Superintendent Joe Murphy told the School Board at Thursday’s meeting.

“I’m here to tell you Mr. Hayden is no longer a semifinalist for Principal of the Year,” Murphy said.

“He is now one of three middle-school principals in the running for Middle School Principal of the Year and one of nine principals for overall Principal of the Year.

“Today might have been one of the best days I’ve had as an employee of Livingston Parish public schools,” Murphy said.

He described Hayden as “a family man of year, a man of integrity and honor who treats his people fairly.”

“All I did through this whole process from day one was I told our story, like Mr. (Rick) Wentzel used to talk about,” Greg Hayden told the board.

“I talked about the night that I got the call that I received the job (of principal).

“I talked about … the night the rains began and my first job was to locate my staff and find them all,” Hayden said. “It brought the job of being a principal, brought it to a whole new level.

“As the years have followed, as we have hosted Southside -- one big family on our campus for three years, I just told that story and the great things going on in our school.”

Hayden began the journey by being named the Livingston Parish Middle School Principal of the Year, then being selected at a regional competition to be a semifinalist in the contest held by the Louisiana Department of Education.

The Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists and semifinalists will be recognized at the 13th Annual Cecil. J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration on Friday, July 19, at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge.

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