Ascension Parish public schools announced the appointment of six new district and school leaders last week.
Robyn Simmons is the new Child Protection and Attendance Supervisor; Brent Ramagost is the new Information Systems and Technology Supervisor; Nicole Elmore Joseph is the new director of Early College Option; Daniel “Keragan” McCready is the new Deputy Director of Dutchtown High; Kim Uzee is the new associate principal of East Ascension High School; and Mary Reenie Laginess is the new vice-principal of East Ascension High School.
“It is always an honor to recognize new leaders within this district – a district that always excels in its employees,” said Assistant Superintendent of Ascension Public Schools, A. Denise Graves. “Rising means reaching the top, and that is what we continue to do under the leadership of these exceptional new directors.”
CHILD WELL-BEING AND ASSISTANCE SUPERVISOR
Born in New Orleans, Simmons began her career in Ascension Public Schools in 2010 as an English teacher at Donaldsonville High School. At DHS, she was a career teacher, teacher mentor and master teacher before moving to Dutchtown High in 2013. She began teaching English at Dutchtown High and also served as a teacher mentor for the pedagogical leadership team, then Assistant Director. In 2019, Simmons became the Director of Early College Option. She remained in this position before being appointed Child Protection and Attendance Supervisor.
“I am so excited for this next chapter,” Simmons said. “This is an opportunity to ensure that we continue to uplift and succeed Ascension students.”
Simmons received a BA in Mass Communication and an MA in English from Jackson State University. She also earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southeast Louisiana.
INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY SUPERVISOR
A graduate of Donaldsonville High School, Ramagost is a long-time member of Ascension Public Schools. In 2002, he started his 19-year professional career with the district as a computer technician. Most recently, he served as District Network Administrator, a position he has held since 2018.
“I am grateful to continue in this leadership role,” said Ramagost. “The IT department has always been such an honor to work with, and I’m thrilled to be leading this team. “
Ramagost graduated from Nicholls State University with a BS in Computer Information Systems in 2001. He lives in Gonzales with his wife Jessica and their daughter Cadence.
MAIN OF THE START OF COLLEGE OPTION
A native of Brusly, Joseph began his teaching career 19 years ago at Sherwood Middle School in Baton Rouge. She was an administrative intern in East Baton Rouge Parish, then Deputy Warden at Capitol Middle, Deputy Warden at Capitol Elementary and Principal at Melrose Elementary before moving to Ascension Parish. She started at Donaldsonville High School as a teacher mentor in 2013.
After a year, she became Deputy Director of DHS, a position she held for two years before becoming Associate Director in 2016.
“I couldn’t be here without the support of the Ascension Parish School Board,” said Joseph. “I couldn’t have excelled like I did without knowing that they would support me 100%.”
Joseph received a BA in Secondary Education and Social Sciences from Grambling State University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Southern University. She currently resides in Addis, with her husband, Christopher, and their three children Avery, Johnovan and Elle, as well as three bonus children: Christopher, Christiauna and Keshawn.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF DUTCHTOWN SECONDARY SCHOOL
A native of West Monroe, McCready began his Ascension career in 2011 as a social studies teacher and physical education coach at East Ascension High School. He was also the school’s deputy sports director, strength trainer for all sports and offensive football coordinator.
McCready transferred to Dutchtown High in 2017 to fill four positions for the school: physical education teacher, assistant athletic director, strength trainer and offensive coordinator. While serving at DTHS, he became department head and leader of the professional learning community.
McCready is active in the neighborhood outside of his roles. He is a member of the educational management team and an observer teacher. He is also working with administration to implement the Griffin Guardian mentoring program on the Dutchtown High campus. McCready also received the Strength of America award from the National Strength and Conditioning Association during his time in the district.
“I am honored and extremely touched by this opportunity to continue to serve our students, parents and stakeholders in this new leadership role,” said McCready.
McCready received a Bachelor of Education degree from Henderson State University with High Honors and a Master of Science degree from LSU. His wife, April, also works for the district as a teacher at Spanish Lake Elementary School. The couple have two daughters: Payton, a seventh grade student at Dutchtown Middle, and Audrey, a third grade student at Spanish Lake.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ASCENSION EST SECONDARY SCHOOL
Uzee began her career in Ascension Public Schools as an English teacher for East Ascension High in 1999. In 2005, she became one of the district’s top four high school teacher coaches. After two years in this role, Uzee returned to teaching at East Ascension until she took on the role of deputy principal of the school in 2014.
“My whole career has been spent at East Ascension; this is my home, ”said Uzee. “It is my commitment to you that I will do everything in my power to make sure every student succeeds. “
Uzee obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and an alternative certification from LSU. She also earned a master’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.
She is married to Travis Uzee and has a son, Connor Cook, and two stepdaughters, Caroline and Marguerite Uzee.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF LYCÉE ASCENSION EST
Originally from Niceville, Florida, Laginess began her work at Ascension Public Schools in 2013. She has been a special education teacher in Resource and LEAP Connect environments, as well as tennis coach and assistant swimming coach at St. Lover High.
In 2018, she moved to Lowery Middle School to take on the position of Senior Special Education Teacher. A year later, she moved to fill the same position at East Ascension High School. Most recently, she served the district as the Special Education Coordinator at the LeBlanc Special Service Center, where she continued her work with East Ascension High, as well as assisted Central Middle and Gonzales Middle Schools.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve East Ascension High School and their community in this new role of Deputy Principal,” said Laginess. “East Ascension High School is a school like no other; rich in tradition, culture and pride.
Laginess obtained both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Auburn University and an Education Specialist’s degree from LSU. She is preparing her doctorate at Southeastern Louisiana University.