Rotary honors city law enforcement, fire, teachers

ROTARY AWARDS...Plaquemine Rotary Club presented its annual awards to public servants in the law enforcement, fire, and teaching career fields last week. Shown her, from left, are award recipients John Little, Chris Rivet, Sallie LeBlanc, and Kristin Bucher, accepting for Lisa Morel.

Plaquemine Rotary Club presented its annual awards to public servants in the career fields of law enforcement, fire, and teachers last week.

Brett Stassi, Jr. was named the Deputy of the Year for the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s department, while John Little was named the City Police Dept. Officer of the Year.

District Chief Chris Rivet was named the City Fireman of the Year, while Ryan Comeaux was selected the Volunteer Fireman of the Year.

Sallie LeBlanc was selected the Teacher of the Year on the high school level, while Krystal Yush was named the Middle School Teacher of the Year. April Collins Thibodeaux was selected the Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Stassi is a third generation law enforcment member. He began in the Sheriff’s office as a dispatcher, but moved to the Uniform Patrol Division. Back in late January, Brett made an arrest in the parish that made national news. He identified and arrested one of three escaped prisoners from Texas, tracking him down after being alerted and finding him near the Dow Chemical property. By arresting the dangerous escapee, Brett helped stop potential murders and armed robberies.

Little has seen a variety of duties for the city police since joining the force. He has gone from patrol duty to detective status and is also a SWAT team instructor. In 2008 he was promoted to sergeant and became a shift supervisor. He has extensive training in everything from chemical weapons to handgun use. He has also gone to school at the Dept. of Homeland Security training group. He was cited as one of the most versatile and dedicated policemen on the city force.

Rivet has served 32 years with the Plaquemine Fire Dept. and is a District Chief. He is a third generation member of the fire department. His grandfather served on the Plaquemine Hook and Ladder Company, while his dad served 32 years with the department.

After starting with the Junior Fightfighters program, he moved on to becoming a fireman and took over the fire prevention program for the city. He has bee active in the Safety Town Program and the Red Ribbon March.

Rivet is Haz-Mat trained, has high angle rope rescue training, and confined space rescue training.

The District Chief’s daughter is graduating this week from Plaquemine High.

Comeaux has been interested in fire fighting since his days at Plaquemine High. He continues a very active interest as a volunteer firefighter and his interest, efforts, and enthusiasm are greatly appreciated by the city firemen.

LeBlanc has taught English at Plaquemine High for a number of years and is a faculty member who always is quick to volunteer for activities beyond the classroom.

Yush is the physical education teacher at the Math, Science, and Arts West Academy in Plaquemine and is considered by the staff as one of the school’s hardest workers who reaches the students with her ability to help in any way. She is a potential U.S.A. Olympic Team member.

She is working toward that goal in her spare time. She was ranked third in the nation in the women’s hammer throw recently.

Thibodeaux worked first at the Head Start Program and impressed faculty and administration at Iberville Elementary with her eagerness to help. She evidentially joined the staff and is considered a very hard worker who instills pride in achievement and the desire to do the best in her students. She has gained recognition also for her caring for the students and her compassion for them.