This summer, a new era in the history of Acadiana High School began. Layne Edelman became the school's new principal, succeeding David LeJeune.

Army Captain Layne Edelman is now Principal Layne Edelman.

"Being an army officer, a lot of what we do is logistics and organizing people and taking care of people, and that's 100 percent what a school administrator does," Edelman said.

The longtime educator received her latest promotion in rank during in June, rising from the assistant principal's office to become the head of the school.

Her new mission is one she cherishes.

"I never thought in a million years when I came here 10 years ago this would be the place I would want to stay forever, but it gets into your blood, and there's nowhere else better to be," Edelman said. "The community of Scott supports us better than I've seen in any other school. It really is a tremendous place to be. Our faculty works really, really hard to carry out our vision."

This is Edelman's fifteenth year in the Lafayette Parish School System. For much of that time, Edelman juggled her teaching career with her duties in the Louisiana National Guard.

"In 2011, I enlisted and went through (basic training), and my unit sent me to (officer candidate school)," Edelman said. "I became an officer. I served with a segment of the 244th Aviation for several years before I decided to focus 100 percent on education."

Edelman says the lessons she learned as an Army captain help her on a day-to-day basis as Acadiana's principal.

"It's our job to foresee the issues and curtail them before it ever becomes an issue, so my training as a military officer plays right into that," Edelman said.

One of the issues facing Edelman and Acadiana High early in this new school year: COVID and the return to normal in the classroom.

"We're really pushing academics and pushing students," Edelman said. "Unfortunately, COVID hit us hard last year. We're trying to get students back in the classroom full time and learning and doing all the great things they missed out. We didn't have a lot of our organizations have full involvement last year, so it's tremendous to be able to see them back on campus again."

Edelman says she wants to see not only students return to campus, but their parents and guardians, as well.

"I really hope that our students and parents get as involved as they can be," Edelman said. "High school time flies by, and parents will be really sad when the kids move out and they fly out of that next. So come to school and get involved with any of the organizations your kids are in or push them to get involved because we have some great things going on at Acadiana, and they really need to see all the things their kids can do."

Edelman says she has had students approach her about their interest in getting into the military and to ask her advice about joining the armed services. Edelman also says the school's Junior R-O-T-C program is growing, and that the organization will soon have a new facility on campus.

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