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DeSoto Schools Invest in Local Talent

     The DeSoto Parish School System is pleased when the best applicants for vacant positions come from local talent. In fact, research suggests greater student academic outcomes for students when their teachers have “local vestment” in the school community. During the latest hiring season, the school system was able to employ several new teachers who personally graduated from a DeSoto Parish high school.

     “Without compromise, we seek to hire the best candidate for each teaching position in our system – our students deserve it,’ said Dr. Cade Brumley, Superintendent. “However, we consider it a staffing priority to tap local talent as much as possible as we understand the academic, cultural, and economic benefits for hiring our own. I’m very excited about our newest teachers with strong DeSoto Parish ties.”

     The following teachers, native to DeSoto Parish, represent a portion of local talent employed within the last year:


Velinda Arbuckle: Graduate of Logansport currently teaching Physical Education at Stanley High.

Peyton Dufour: Graduate of Mansfield currently teaching English at Mansfield High.

Lakeisha Fair: Graduate of Mansfield currently teaching Kindergarten at Mansfield Elementary.

Steven Finley: Graduate of North DeSoto currently teaching Science at Stanley High.

Sarah Flowers: Graduate of North DeSoto currently teaching 5th Grade at ND Upper Elementary.

Nakia Graham: Graduate of Mansfield currently teaching Math at Mansfield High.

Cindy Sebastian: Graduate of Mansfield currently teaching Math at North DeSoto High.

Katy Thomas: Graduate of North DeSoto currently teacher at ND Upper Elementary.

Caityln Wise: Graduate of Stanley currently teaching upper elementary at Stanley High.



The teachers were asked to respond to a few prompts; below are their thoughts:


What made you want to come back to DeSoto Parish and teach?

While making my valedictorian address at my high school graduation, I made a promise that I would come back and teach at Mansfield High School. I came back to DeSoto Parish because I genuinely felt like I could make an impact on young lives in my community. It is also extremely rewarding that the parish is one of the highest paying districts in the state and has numerous amounts of resources for teachers. – Nakia Graham

I wanted to come back to where I grew up. I wanted to teach where we live. I love being part of a close-knit community. Once our youngest was old enough to start school, I made the decision to apply for a position. I knew working for DeSoto Parish was an amazing opportunity and I wanted to be part of that. We wanted our kids to have an amazing start to their education and I wanted to be a working part of it. – Sarah Flowers

I retired from teaching in Texas so I could come home and be with my family. I know that DeSoto Parish has excellent schools and great pay for their teachers. – Velinda Arbuckle

I grew up in DeSoto Parish and went through the school system. I wanted to come back and serve my childhood community. I feel that I have an opportunity to learn and grow and an educator by working in this system. – Peyton Dufour
I decided to come back to Desoto Parish and teach because I knew that this was a great parish to be in. I knew our parish was under great leadership and I'd have the opportunity to teach alongside some of the greatest teachers I know. – Katy Thomas


In what ways has the school system changed from what you remember as a student?

The school system is more rigorous. There is a large focus on academics especially in literacy. – Lakeisha Fair

There are many more options available for students in high school now. When I attended there were only two degree plans. One was if you planned to go to college and the other was for if you were not. – Cindy Sebastian
Our school system has definitely grown a lot since I was a student. There's been new buildings built and extra space added to our schools to accommodate everybody. Our school system has also improved in scores. It's so cool to see so many high-achieving schools in our district and to be an "A" school district for the first time.  – Katy Thomas


What have you learned so far as a teacher in DeSoto Parish?

So far, I’ve learned to adapt. I’ve also learned that it takes a lot of effort, patience, and time to achieve one’s goals. – Steven Finley

The main thing I’ve learned so far is that it is so important to always have what you plan to do planned out and ready. I’ve also learned how to pace myself when teaching. – Caitlyn Wise


List a role-model you had during your time as a student in DeSoto Parish.


Velinda Arbuckle: Coach Larry Bagley

Peyton Dufour: Mrs. Wanda Rougeau

Lakeisha Fair: Ms. Sybil White

Steven Finley: Mr. Clayton McCaffree

Sarah Flowers: Mrs. Edington

Nakia Graham: Mrs. Amanda LaFollette

Cindy Sebastian: Coach Doug Green

Katy Thomas: Coach Lori McFerrin

Caitlyn Wise: Mrs. Melanie Schweiger



“I have truly enjoyed taking a role in both the recruitment and successful onboarding of these teachers,” said Mrs. Deb Gamble, DeSoto Parish Director of Human Resources. “As parish residents and taxpayers, we should be thankful and proud to see home-grown educators returning to work with our youth as we continue making our system the best in the State of Louisiana.”



December 15- Parent/Teacher Conferences after school 3:30-6:30

December 16-Parent/Teacher Conferences 8:00 AM-12:00 PM (No Students)


Schools will be closed December 19-January 2, 2017

Teachers will return on January 3, 2017 for workday.

Students will return on January 4, 2017.


What's Happening...

Today: 12/4/16



December 15- Parent/Teacher Conferences after school 3:30-6:30

December 16-Parent/Teacher Conferences 8:00 AM-12:00 PM (No Students)


Schools will be closed December 19-January 2, 2017

Teachers will return on January 3, 2017 for workday.

Students will return on January 4, 2017.