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Lafayette Parish School System
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LPSS Announces Expansion of Communications Department

New Leadership Appointments

Lafayette Parish School System is pleased to announce the expansion of its Communication Department with the addition of Tracy Wirtz and Jacob Simon. Tracy and Jacob each bring a wealth of experience and a diverse range of perspectives. Superintendent Francis Touchet stated, "School systems across the state and country are enhancing their communications teams to ensure effective and efficient internal and public communication. I thank everyone who participated in our district-wide advisory councils throughout the year and acknowledge that the expansion of this team is a direct result of those meaningful discussions. The addition of Tracy and Jacob will improve LPSS's capability to convey its message and successes to the public quickly while enhancing its capacity to listen to and address the concerns of our stakeholders."
 

Tracy Wirtz

Tracy Wirtz 
Communications and Public Relations Specialist

Tracy Wirtz's communications career spans more than three decades. She began her broadcasting journey in radio and transitioned to television where she spent 16 years. She spent time in marketing and public relations, managing numerous internal and external campaigns with various companies. 

“My passion lies in sharing good news and communicating accurate information in crisis situations,” Tracy says. “I look forward to working with such a talented team and my colleagues in broadcasting to ensure that we showcase the amazing opportunities LPSS provides and the inspiring success stories of students and teachers who are the heart of the school system.” 

Tracy graduated from UL Lafayette (then USL) with a degree in Mass Communications and English. Tracy officially joins the team on Monday, June 24th.
 



Jacob Simon

Jacob Simon 
Communications and Marketing Manager

Jacob Simon has been with the Lafayette Parish School System for 11 years, starting at Ovey Comeaux High School in 2013. He was a speech and theater teacher for nine years and served as assistant principal for two years. He led the Comeaux Speech and Debate Team to achieve six consecutive team State Championships, 36 National Finalists, 12 National Championships, and 1 National Speech and Debate Association Student of the Year.

As an educator, Simon was recognized as OCHS Teacher of the Year in 2019. He was also a finalist at the 2019 LEF Teacher Awards and was awarded the title of Top Finalist in the High School Category. Advocating for the students of OCHS and his belief in the power of effective communication have been the cornerstones of his career for the past decade. As he transitions to a new role, he is honored to have the opportunity to advocate for the entirety of LPSS and work towards bringing recognition to the unique opportunities it offers our youngest community stakeholders. 

Simon earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Speech Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. 
 



Traci Aucoin

Traci Aucoin 
Community Collaborations and Partnerships Coordinator

Traci Aucoin serves as Community Collaborations and Partnerships Coordinator for the Lafayette Parish School System, acting as the primary liaison between the school system and its community partners. She focuses on establishing, developing, and optimizing partnerships with nonprofit, corporate, government, and other community organizations to enhance educational support for students, families, and educators. Traci previously served as the Director of the US Department of Education GEAR UP Program. She was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. She has also worked at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in various leadership roles, including Director of the University College, Director of Special Projects for the President, and Director of the UL Alumni Association.
 



Olivia Sonnier

Olivia Sonnier 
Communications Coordinator

Since joining the team in 2022, Olivia has made substantial strides in enhancing Lafayette Parish School System's social media presence through strategic management, content creation, and storytelling. A proud UL Ragin Cajun alumna with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, she brings a unique blend of creativity and expertise to her role. Known for her innovative thinking, Olivia has played a vital role in shaping and expanding the district's online identity. She eagerly anticipates continuing this journey with the new and dynamic team.
 



Blaine Bearb

Blaine Bearb 
Webmaster

Blaine Bearb serves as the Webmaster for the Lafayette Parish School System, tasked with building and maintaining its online presence. For the past 12 years, he has been instrumental in shaping the district's digital footprint since the department’s inception. In 2024, his proficiency in web development earned him national acclaim for his work on the Lafayette Parish School System website. Complementing his role as webmaster, Blaine leverages his expertise as a seasoned photographer, videographer, and nationally recognized graphic designer. He looks forward to continuing this impactful work alongside an exceptional team of communicators.
 



Sherri Stelly

Sherri Stelly 
Secretary II

Sherri Stelly, who recently joined the team as the office secretary, brings 20 years of experience in administrative support with her. Drawing on this extensive experience, she brings substantial knowledge and efficiency to her role. Sherri is dedicated to improving office operations and is excited to support this growing team as it thrives.
 

Upcoming Events

JUL
17

Community Feedback Sessions

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

JUL
18

Community Feedback Session

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

JUL
19

Special Board Meeting

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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