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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


02/16 - Effects of Expansion: Medicaid in Louisiana

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

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!


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

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

Recent Topics


01/16 - Police POV: Body Cameras in Louisiana

What happens when police and the people they arrest have different versions of their encounters?


11/15 - Living Below the Line

What is living in poverty like?


10/15 - Funding the Future: Early Childhood Opportunities

How can improving early childhood programs improve the state’s educational outcomes, workforce, and economics?


09/15 - Agenda Louisiana

What issues will candidates face and where do they stand?

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