, Port Arthur, Texas


November 9, 2010

News anchor inspires PAISD students

PORT ARTHUR — A select group of middle and high school students from PAISD took part in the Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee meeting held on Tuesday at Memorial High School.

This is the fifth year of the committee and the second meeting of the 2010-2011 school year. The students range from 6-12th grade and are selected from each middle and high school campus. Dr. Johnny E. Brown, Superintendent of Schools, began the meeting with highlights of the past school year, including test scores, athletic and fine arts achievements and school recognition.

“This is a large operation; an awesome operation and you should be so proud,” he stated. He applauded the efforts of the teachers and students, but also encouraged them to do better. “We want you to serve as leaders beyond the classroom.”

The guest speaker at this month's meeting was KFDM-6 lead anchor Bill Leger. Leger is a native of Louisiana.  Throughout his 25-year career, he has spent 16 of those years as an anchor at KFDM. Leger gave examples of his experiences on the job, including one that could have derailed his career altogether.

“Life is like a maze. There are so many roads to take,” he stated. Instead of giving up, he did research and got help for his problem. Because of it, he was able to not only keep his job, but also excel at it.

Leger became interested in the field of broadcast communication at the age of 10 when he went on a field trip to a TV station. His parents got him a job at a radio station at age 12. Upon graduation from LSU, he accepted a position at an up and coming TV station in Lake Charles. He next moved to Beaumont and took a news reporter position at KFDM, but after six months, took an anchor position in Lafayette, La. He was there for five years and moved up the ranks to news director. He was offered to come back to KFDM where he has been ever since.

He gave the students important words of advice. “Don't underestimate decisions that come along in your life,” he stated. The crowd of students, administrators and principals were amazed at the footage Leger showed of his experience during Hurricane Ike. Though his life could have taken a different turn had he given up, he is very proud of the decisions that he has made.

“It's never too late to turn around when you reach a dead end,” he stated. “I have had offers to go other places, but there is no other place I'd rather be then right here in the Golden Triangle and at KFDM.”

Melvin Getwood, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Support Services, thanked Bill Leger for his presentation and the work he has done in the community. “He could very well be on 60 Minutes, but we are so thankful he's here in the Golden Triangle,” he stated.

The committee meeting commenced with Melvin Getwood addressing issues from the previous meeting. “I am happy to say that we have addressed all of your concerns from the first meeting and they were handled,” he said. Dr. Mark Porterie, Deputy Superintendent, engaged the students in dialogue by referencing the recent elections. “Voting is a privilege that you will all get to experience,” he stated. “It's all about making the right decisions; not just in voting, but in life as well.”

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