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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


07/15 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces

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

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!


08/15 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference

What difference has a decade made?

Recent Topics


06/15 - Louisiana After Ferguson (Encore Presentation)

Who polices the police in Louisiana?


05/15 - Innovation Matters

What effect does diminishing Higher Ed funding have on Louisiana research programs?


04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?


03/15 - Cancer in Louisiana

Why is Louisiana’s cancer death rate so much higher than the rest of America?

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