Marvin Evans hired as principal at DHS

Marvin Evans was hired officially to take position as the principal of the Donaldsonville High School on Sept. 4, 2013.

There are three things Marvin Evans wants to do in his newly acquired position as principal at Donaldsonville High School: show caring, compassion and concern.

Evans, who served for three years as the assistant principal, take charge as the top administrator on the campus after former principal Dr. Esrom Pitre resigned to take a teaching position at the University of Houston at the end of August. Evan’s tenure began on Sept. 4.

Dr. Patrice Pujol, Ascension Parish School Board Superintendent, said she thought it was particularly important to hire someone the kids already know especially with the school year already in session.

“I think it’s important that we were blessed to have such a strong leader already on the campus that we could promote and continue – not that Mr. Evans won’t bring his own brand – that forward push in terms of academic achievement,” Dr. Pujol said.

She said Evans knows the kids, knows the community and “really we’ll just keep pushing in the direction we’ve been going using his own brand of leadership to make it happen.”

“I have absolute total confidence and support of Mr. Evans,” Dr. Pujol said. “He has demonstrated fabulous leadership since being on that campus.”

Evans said he’s been so busy the past few weeks that he can’t really say he’s excited, because he just hadn’t had a moment to sit back and digest it. However, Evans is sure he knows why he applied for the position.

“My main purpose for applying for this position is because the kids here in Donaldsonville see so much turnover – people in and out – and what I want to provide for them is stability,” Evans said, who is a husband and father of two sons.

Evans earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Southern University in Baton Rouge and has 18 years of experience in the education field, five of which as an administrator.

Evans takes his first job as principal, which he says has always been his passion and goal, and hopes he can reduce the teacher turnover at DHS. He said last year the school lost 35 percent of its staff and “it’s just not fair to the students to constantly see that change.”

Evans said what’s kept him in the classroom so long was the strong support his administrators gave him, so he plans to resemble that in his role.

“When teachers come here I’m going to provide them with the support, emotionally and professionally, that they will come here and want to stay,” Evans said.

During his career, Evans spent a lot of time “growing and developing teachers” and he said anybody would tell you in education the most important factor in a child’s education is that classroom teacher.

“They’re on the front line, they’re in the trenches and if we provide them with the necessary support our students will achieve and we will meet the ultimate goal,” Evans said.

He believes in school basically two things should be occurring in a classroom: teaching and learning.

With a high poverty rate and a recent spike in crime in Donaldsonville, Evans knows there will be some challenges. His answer for it - education.

“If you look at society, education is the cure, it’s the equalizer,” Evans said. “Just because our students are poor, that’s not an excuse that they can’t learn. If they are surrounded by crime and surrounded by drugs, guess what I tell them- education is your way out. That’s your ticket.”

Evans said he’s a prime example because most of what he’s accomplished in life came through education.

Evans said there are three things he wants to be able to say when he has left Donaldsonville: provide a rigorous curriculum, find individuals to teach who are committed concerned about the students, and give the students exposure.

“Many of the students - believe it or not - have never set football on a LSU or Southern University campus, 45 minutes away,” Evans said. “I realize another part of education is giving our students quality experience and exposure.”

Dr. Pujol added: “I’m real excited about where we’re headed with Donaldsonville High. I think this is going to be another strong progression for us and that we’ll continue to move the school forward.”