Cassie Ancelet
APSB Honoree

Rayne teacher, Iota teams recognized at APSB meeting

CROWLEY – The Acadia Parish School Board is always thrilled to recognize good things in the schools. Monday (May 2) was another opportunity to do just that.
During its May regular session, the board welcomed Shirlene Bender, state HOSA advisor, to recognize the Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award to Cassie Ancelet of Rayne High.
“Each year, national HOSA asks each state advisor to choose one chapter advisor, one teacher in the entire state, as the Outstanding Chapter Advisor for HOSA, and that’s probably the toughest task I have, because all of the teachers I work with at HOSA are great teachers,” said Bender.
“This year, I realized there is one teacher that is long overdue. She started her chapter in HOSA with her students in 2010, shortly after I began my path in that, and she’s been going strong ever since. She’s the type of teacher that doesn’t ask to be recognized, she just does what needs to be done.”
HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of ACTE. HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.
HOSA’s goal is to encourage all health science instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HSE-HOSA Partnership. It was created in 1976 and has grown steadily, reaching over 200,000 members through 51 chartered HOSA Associations, including Louisiana HOSA, which oversees chapters like Rayne’s.
Rayne is one of only 26 chapters in the entire state this year.
After applauding Ancelet, the board turned the meeting over to several teams from Iota to be recognized.
First, Iota High School’s powerlifting team made a return visit to the board with even more successes to report.
“Last year, was my first season at Iota High School … we went on to be West Regional runners-up last year and we placed fourth with our boys in state; then went on to High School National Championships … and we won the co-ed national title and the boys won runner-up,” said Ray Aucoin, Iota’s powerlifting coach.
“This season … at Regionals, out of 17 teams, we placed second and were runners-up to Class 4A Abbeville, so we were regional runners-up again but a strong intent to win state.
“We lost two to on the way (to state) – due to injury and medical condition. So our goal was to do the best we could, and somehow with nine kids and the good Lord helping us, … our boys got state runners-up.”
One of the improvements this year was the addition of a full girls’ powerlifting team. When they looked to add one this year, according to Aucoin, 43 girls tried out for the team.
As the season progressed, Iota continued to grow and improve and, by the end, the teams were state runners-up with two individual state champions (Sabian Trahan and Justin Francois) on the boys’ side and one girl (Sadie Zaunbrecher) who placed third individually.
At regionals, one of Iota’s girls (Chloe Smith) also won an individual title and broke two 20-year-old records.
After the high school presentation, Iota Middle School’s softball and baseball teams were called up. Each finished runners-up in the state junior high championship.
The team finished 23-7 overall and 13-0 in Scott’s Acadiana Junior High Softball League.
The baseball team, meanwhile, comprised mostly of seventh graders, took a few lumps in the beginning, but eventually it would improve to 15-3 overall and 9-0 in the Acadiana League and out-score its opponents 176-55.
Principal Lee Ann Wall stressed that middle school-aged children from Egan and Evangeline elementary schools are invited to try out, making the team a collective effort.

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