Not only has Greg been active in the education system as a teacher, principal and supervisor; but he also possesses a wealth of artistic talent which he shares with his community.
Son of Kleby and Lucian Meaux, Greg has been a Kaplan resident all his life.
A 1972 graduate of Kaplan High School, Greg went on to achieve his first degree in Secondary Art and English Education from USL in 1976.
He returned to college and obtained his graduate degree in 1993 from McNeese University in the area of Administration and Supervision.
In addition to his two degrees, Greg also has thirty plus hours of coursework in varying fields from various universities.
Greg explains, “When you are a teacher, it is a never ending quest for knowledge.”
From an early age it was apparent that he had artistic talent.
“From a very young age I was very creative. I always had my hands in something at home, making things. I love to be creative and construct things. My initial decision was to be an architect. I decided that I would be better at redelivering artistic talents to others and developing their talent. And that is what motivated me to go into education. I also loved working with children. English is very close to art, because you can create it in the same respects – write poetry and things of that nature.”
Greg taught English and Art a total of 27 years at two different schools.
His first job was at a parochial school in Lafayette, which has since closed.
Eventually, Greg made his way back towards his home area and became a teacher at Pecan Island High School.
In 2000, Greg became the principal of the school and worked double duty as a teacher as well.
In 2005, Hurricane Rita changed the entire community of Pecan Island. Even though the high school itself did not flood, the School Board voted to close down the school in 2006 due to the lack of families remaining in the area.
It was then he found himself like hundreds of other people: displaced. Greg applied for a position with the Vermilion Parish School Board and was hired.
Now just eighteen short months away from retirement,
The new job keeps him extremely busy. He is the Supervisor of Early Elementary Education / Art, the canopy of which encompasses a wide range of areas.
Greg is the coordinator of Dyslexia, Bilingual Education, Para Professionals, and is also in charge of the homeless families with school aged children within Vermilion Parish.
“The storms created such havoc,” he said. “This past storm, Ike, displaced hundreds of people in the Erath and Seventh Ward area. The homeless situation is a recurring nightmare. Some people have a misconception of the word homeless. You don’t have to have no home to be considered homeless. If you are doubling up with family members, living in motels or FEMA trailers – as long as you are not living in your own home – then you are considered homeless. It is very hard on the children.”
According to Meaux, the things that have changed the most in education are the state and national mandates in regards to teaching. The No Child Left Behind Act has changed the total picture of the classroom environment, allowing for a more data driven process which is better for the students and better for the Parish as well.
In fact, Vermilion Parish now ranks eleventh in the state and first in the Acadiana Region.
He is also very involved in his community. Since 1976, Greg has been teaching art privately out of his aptly named “Klebe Artistics’” home studio.
Greg is also active with the Jumelage and recently traveled this summer to Belgium, stopping along the way to see Paris, London, and France.
He is an active member of the Kaplan Arts Council and serves as part of the Tourist Commission and is also a participant in the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Choir.
In addition to the aforementioned, Greg is a licensed florist who also dabbles with design work and decorating.
In all, Greg is very hopeful for the future, especially for the future of Kaplan.
“I think things will continue to go well in our area. I think Kaplan is moving up. All of the baby boomers are retiring at the right time, and we can make a contribution to our community.”