(Leigh Guidry/The Advertiser)- Stanley Celestine Jr. will have an advantage over his fellow school board members. He’ll likely know what students in the Avoyelles Parish School District are going through better than the rest.
That’s because he was in their shoes, or at least their seats, less than two years ago.
Celestine is 19, a 2017 graduate of the school system he will help lead come January.
He expects connecting with students in a way they can relate will help both him and the school system. He wants to help students have a voice — and help improve a struggling school system.
“I will be able to bring a perspective from someone who just graduated from the system and hopefully will inspire more students to participate,” he said. “Student voice is important to have on any organization that benefits children.”
Celestine received 65 percent of the vote this November to secure the District 5 seat on the Avoyelles Parish School Board.
He had 789 votes over Carolyn Bonton’s 427, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State website.
He’s well aware he’ll be the youngest on the nine-member board next year. During his campaign, people asked why he didn’t wait to run until after college, until he was older and made a more traditional candidate.
He took an educational approach to answering that question.
“We don’t wait to teach kids how to read and write,” Celestine said. “We want to start as early as possible. So it’s important we are teaching and instilling in young people that they are never too young … to do things that are not the status quo or not the norm.”