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Let's hear the DrumRoll for the first Black LMA president, 4-star General, and Chief Judge
Ville Platte mayor Vidrine, Lt. Gen Langley, and Judge Guidry earn leadership roles and GSU coach Jackson, Ascension principal Hilton, health advocate Stewart-Allen receive industry recognitions
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine has been inaugurated as president of the Louisiana Municipal Association, becoming the first Black female to serve as president. She also earned the association’s distinguished leadership award during the annual convention on July 26. The LMA is a statewide member organization that advocates for all 303 municipalities and two parishes to strengthen community development because we all call a village, town, or city "home". Vidrine said the first thing on her agenda is getting people access to the necessary funds they need in their communities.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Langley has earned Congressional confirmation as four-star general in the U.S Marines—the highest rank in the military. The Shreveport native is the first Black American to earn this rank. Langley is Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic and Commander, Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command. He has commanded Marines at every level from platoon to regiment, serving in Okinawa, Japan and Afghanistan. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and was commissioned in 1985. He holds multiple advanced degrees including Masters in National Security Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
First Circuit Court of Appeal Judge John Michael Guidry will begin his term as Chief Judge of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal on January 1, 2023. He is the second Black American to be elected to the First Circuit Court of Appeal and will be the first Black judge in the 100-plus-year history of the court to serve as Chief Judge. A McKinley Senior High School graduate, Guidry earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from LSU and juris doctorate from the Southern University Law Center. Guidry replaces Judge Vanessa Guidry-Whipple who retires Dec. 31 when her current term ends. The First Circuit consists of twelve judges and has jurisdiction over sixteen parishes in Southeastern Louisiana
Grambling State University head men's basketball coach, Donte' Jackson, has been appointed as the next president of the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches. As he heads into his sixth season leading GSU, Jackson becomes the third Tiger coach to be named president of the organization, following Fredrick C. Hobdy (1979-80) and Larry Wright (2007-08).
The Louisiana Department of Education and Dream Teachers Louisiana named Lowery Middle School principal Michael Hilton III, the 2023 Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year. n 18-year educator, Hilton started his career in Baton Rouge where he served as a teacher, coach, teacher for instructional support, and administrative dean of students. He served as a graduation coach, mentor teacher, and assistant principal at Donaldsonville High School an Ascension parish before being named principal of Lowery Middle School in 2020. There, he focused on recruiting, retaining, and developing teachers. Hilton earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education with a minor in English and a master's degree in educational leadership from LSU.
Alma C. Stewart-Allen, RN, has dedicated her professional and personal life to improving experiences of health and well-being for the most vulnerable members of her community. As a result, she has been awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity. The award is presented by the National Civic League and recognizes individuals who, over the past two years, have sought to address health inequity and improve health outcomes in their community through the implementation of a systems change approach. Stewart-Allen was recognized for the work she’s done as a researcher and public health advocate with the Louisiana Center for Health Equity, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the increasing disparities in health and well-being across Louisiana. LCHE promotes the elimination of health disparities caused by poverty, lack of access to quality health care, and unhealthy environmental conditions. Along with community organizations, she has launched several programs and initiatives to extend the impact of LCHE such as the LA40by2030, Youth Peace Olympics, LYFE Teen Summit, LEAD in LYFE League, Louisiana Resources and Educational Assessments for Children’s Health, and other interventions. Stewart-Allen received a $3,000 honorarium and recognition at the National Civic League’s annual All-America City Awards ceremony.
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