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Panelist Bio


Penny Dastugue
President of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Ms. Penny Dastugue, a managing partner with PMJ Houma Development, is a Member-at-Large of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). She received her bachelor’s degree in Management and Finance from Tulane University. Ms. Dastugue first joined BESE in 2003 as an elected member from BESE District 1.

In 2007, Governor Jindal appointed her to the Board for a second term. Recently reappointed in January for a third term, Ms. Dastugue is serving her second consecutive year as the Board president. Previous to being elected president, Ms. Dastugue chaired BESE’s Administration & Finance Committee. Her interests in public education include school finance and its impact on student achievement and improving school and district leadership.

Ms. Dastugue has been married to Quentin Dastugue for 27 years, and they have three daughters: Kaitlin, who is graduating with a master's urban and city from the University of Pennsylvania; Margaux, who is graduating with a bachelor's in economics and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia; and Allison, who is a freshman at the University of Virginia.

Current Topic


06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?

Special Presentation


12/15 - Election 2015: An Analysis

What strategies did each of the major candidates use during the Governor's race?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


07/16 - Regular & Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?

Recent Topics


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?


04/16 - Opiates & the Bayou State

How is Louisiana tackling this serious addiction epidemic?


03/16 - Justice on Hold: Louisiana’s Public Defender Shortage

How serious of a problem is the shortage of public defenders in Louisiana?


02/16 - Effects of Expansion: Medicaid in Louisiana

How will the lives of those who now have access to health care change?

»»» View all Topics!
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