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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


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recording Monday, February 20)


Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Monday, February 20, 2017
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