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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

Friday, February 28, 2014

U.s. Attorney Finley Attends Sunset Middle School's Black History Program

LAFAYETTE, La.–United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley was the keynote speaker today at the Sunset Middle School Black History Program.  She addressed approximately 375 students ranging from 5th through 8th grades, parents, and community members in attendance, to include the Mayor of Grand Coteau, the Sunset Chief of Police, a representative of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sunset Town Council members and the St. Landry Parish School Board Social Studies Supervisor, in addition to the school’s faculty.  The event featured profiles of African Americans throughout history, stories, slide shows, songs, poems, dance, and other presentations.  

“As long as I’m in this position, children will be a priority whether that’s protecting them from crimes or spending time to encourage them to reach for their dreams,” Finley said.  “It is important to let all children know of the opportunities in life and the effort it takes to reach their goals.  I want to thank the faculty, students and parents at Sunset Middle School for inviting me to attend the event and for welcoming me so warmly.  It was clear to everyone in attendance that this school focuses on education and excellence.  This faculty is to be commended for their dedication and hard work in helping the student body achieve academic success.  We all should try to be positive influences in these children’s lives.   I have had many great teachers and mentors in my life, and now, I’ve got to pay it forward so that the future leaders of our communities can learn from my journey. ”

The Louisiana Department of Education recently recognized Sunset Middle School as a Top Gains School.  The recognition comes after students raised their performance scores from the previous academic year. The accomplishment brings the school up one letter grade overall.  A monetary award will be issued for the achievement, and the school will be recognized by the St. Landry Parish School Board at an upcoming meeting.  Sunset Middle School’s principal is Marquet S. Rideau.

Finley is the first female U.S. Attorney to serve in Louisiana.  She was selected by President Barack Obama in January of 2010, after being recommended by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June of 2010.  United States Attorney Finley was sworn into office on June 2, 2010 to serve the Western District of Louisiana as the chief law enforcement officer for 42 of the state’s 64 parishes.  In addition to her duties as the U.S. Attorney, Finley is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and currently serves as Vice Chair of Attorney General Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee’s Office of Management and Budget Committee.

Updated January 26, 2015