School Board member, activist Hasten passes

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com
Iberville Parish School Board member and activist Albertha Davis-Hasten passed away at her home in White Castle on Nov. 19. She was 62. 
COURTESY PHOTO

Iberville Parish School Board member and area activist Albertha Mae "Alp" Davis-Hasten passed away at her home in White Castle on Nov. 19.

Hasten, 62, served on the Iberville Parish School Board for 17 years as the District N representative where she not only represented her district in White Castle but all residents of Iberville Parish School Superintendent Ed Cancienne said.

"Each of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss her family suffers," Cancienne said. "We have lost a dear friend and a valued colleague. She will be deeply missed."

Hasten spent countless hours at schools in her district, cheering on quiz bowl contests, basketball games and urging parents to attend and join a parent organization she jointly founded with school board member Dorothy Sansoni, according to Cancienne.

"She made great efforts to get parents involved in their children's education and was often heard urging fellow members to "vote for the children," Cancienne said.

Hasten also had a special interest in environmental science education programs through her advocacy in environmental health and numerous science education awards and workshops were started during her role with environmental advocacy groups, Cancienne said.

She loved to hear accolades of students' academic and athletic successes and often included those on the school board agendas to recognize current students, as well as college and community leaders who were public school graduates, Cancienne continued.

"In short, educational issues for children was a prominent focus of her life," Cancienne said.

Having been elected to the board four times, Hasten worked with three superintendents, including former leaders Charles Bujol and Martin Bera.

Former and current school principals, coaches, teachers, and

students praised her for her longstanding love for White Castle High School and all of the schools in the community, Cancienne said.

"She always voted for what she felt would benefit the children, no matter where they lived," Cancienne said. "Yet, she was immensely dedicated and watchful of her constituents. We have lost a true advocate for children."

The school board will recognize her achievements and honor her service as a board member at its December school board meeting.

Hasten also worked as a community activist through her service as the president of the Louisiana Environmental Justice Community Organization Coalition fighting for protection of low-income communities near industrial and petrochemical plants throughout the region.

She also served as president of the board of directors for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

Hasten was born on July 6, 1950. She is survived by her son Wilbert Dudley Hasten, III (April) of Plaquemine, one daughter Desiree Hasten of Baton Rouge and five grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Wilbert Hasten, Jr, parents, Dudley and Odessa (Hunter) Davis, sister, Mary Dean Davis Bridgewater and brother, Dudley Davis, Jr.

Visitation occurred at Roscoe Mortuary Funeral Home on Sunday, Nov. 25 from 1-4 p.m. followed by wake-funeral services at the White Castle Community Center at 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. Nov. 26.