LWVLA 2021 Board Members



Hilda Walker Thomas
President, LWVLA

Hilda Walker Thomas holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from Southern University and A & M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and an M.Ed. from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a retired educator having served as a Junior High School Principal for Cincinnati Public Schools and for New Orleans Public Schools. She also served as a School Test Coordinator for Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland. She served, on a part time basis, as a Resident Teacher Supervisor in Prince George's County, Maryland training new teachers.

Hilda is a member of the St. Tammany LWV and a member of the LWVLA Board of Directors. She worked on the LWV Louisiana Charter School Study and served on the LWVLA 2019 Convention Committee. She is presently serving as President of LWVLA and Co-Chair of the LWVUS Nominating Committee. Hilda is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. New Orleans Chapter.



M. Christian Green
Vice President, LWVLA

Christian Green holds degrees from Georgetown University in history and government, Emory University in law and theology, and the University of Chicago in religion and ethics. She has taught at DePaul University, Harvard Divinity School, and the Candler School of Theology. She has been a researcher at the Religion, Culture, and Family Project at the University of Chicago, the Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics in Chicago, and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

She is currently a Senior Fellow and Research Director on Law, Religion and Human Rights at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, an editor of the Journal of Law and Religion, and editor and publications manager for the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLAES). Christian is a member of LWV Lafayette and serves as the LWVLA Vice President.



Ellen Torgrimson
Secretary, LWVLA

Ellen Torgrimson is a technical editor with more than 25 year's experience working in the environmental consulting industry. A Louisiana native, she lived much of her adult life in New Mexico and, after moving back to Louisiana in 2012, telecommuted to her job in Albuquerque. She recently "retired," but continues to do freelance work for the company, editing and assisting in writing a variety of water planning and other technical reports, and marketing and public information materials for audiences with varying levels of technical sophistication. Prior to becoming a technical editor, Ellen taught piano at both the pre-college and college level, and her primary interests are the visual and performing arts.

Ellen first joined the League as a member of the Natchitoches Unit and currently belongs to LWV New Orleans. In addition to her secretarial responsibilities, she is chair of the Voter Services Committee which is responsible for producing the Voters Guide to Candidates for state-wide elections. Ellen also serves as the League representative on the Water Resources Commission, an appointment she received from Governor Edwards of Louisiana.



Amanda Couvillon
Treasurer, LWVLA

Amanda Couvillon is in her second year with The League of Women Voters of St. Tammany. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama with a B.A. in Communications. Amanda is currently an elementary teacher in Covington, LA teaching first grade.

She joined the League of Women Voters in 2018 wanting to help make a difference in her community. She recently worked on a campaign during the 2018 Parish Council election as an Event Coordinator. Amanda also organized and led her neighborhood in a Zoning Board and Parish Council.



DeVoe Potter Allen
Board of Directors, LWVLA

DeVoe Potter Allen currently serves as a co-chair of LWV-St. Tammany Parish, as well as chair of the local Environmental Committee. She received a BA and an MA in Psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She retired after a career of 25 years with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Child Welfare Division.

Post retirement, she worked as a school psychologist with a private pupil appraisal team that contracted with charter schools in New Orleans, LA. DeVoe is a passionate advocate for children and families. She also advocates to environmentally sustainable development and protections for all aspects of the earth's environment.



Laurie Foley-Jones
Board of Directors, LWVLA

Laurie Foley-Jones is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans where she received a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. from Southeastern University in Hammond, LA. She is a retired Early Intervention Special Education Teacher. Throughout her 25 year teaching career, she has worked in Orleans, Lafayette and St. Tammany Parishes. She has served as a Kindergarten, Preschool, Early Intervention teacher, mentor and coach.

She has chaired and served on several committees including School Improvement, Textbook and Crisis Prevention. Laurie has spent her life promoting excellence in Early Childhood/ Special Education. She is a member of LWV-St. Tammany and serves as co-chair of Voters Services for LWVLA.



Melissa Yarborough
Board of Directors, LWVLA

Melissa Yarborough joined the League of Women Voters of Greater Baton Rouge Unit when it re-formed in 2018. She currently serves as the President and Voter Education Organizer of the local Unit of LWV. Melissa has a B.A. in Spanish from Bryn Mawr College and a M.Ed. from LSU Shreveport.

She currently works from home while raising her two young children with her spouse, David, but looks forward to returning to teaching soon. Her volunteer work has primarily focused on education, youth empowerment, civic engagement, and immigrant justice.



PatricevSentino
Board of Directors, LWVLA

Dr. Patrice Sentino is a native of Chicago, Illinois who moved to New Orleans in 1982. She has served as an educator, clinician, community organizer, and researcher. She works with New Orleanians who are affected by social and environmental trauma, high-risk for juvenile delinquency, homelessness, mental illness, and behavioral health. She holds a Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a Master of Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Substance Abuse and Addition Counseling from Southern University at New Orleans. She is currently continuing pursuing an Education Doctorate Degree in Educational Psychology and Technology at Chicago School of Professional Psychology,. Presently she is the CEO of the Center for Hope Children and Family Services. Patrice is a member of LWV New Orleans.



Wendy King
Nominating Chair, LWVLA

Wendy King is a LWV New Orleans Board member and has been active in the area environmental issues since the late 1970s. She joined the Sierra Club in 1977, shortly before graduating from Loyola University. Her volunteer work at the Sierra Club has included editing the Chapter and Group newsletters, serving as treasurer of the New Orleans Group, and currently chairing the New Orleans Group's WW aste and Recycling committees, plus being the New Orleans Group Excomm's secretary. For the LWVNO, she has met with other environmental committee members to discuss issues and actions on which her committee can work. She is currently the LWVLA State Environmental Committee Chair and has followed the legislaturei' s environmental legislation each session.



Alicia Chaisson
Nominating, LWVLA

Alicia Chaisson is the spokesperson for LWV-Lafayette. She was a candidate for Lafayette City-Parish Council in 2015 and is a member of the LCG Lafayette Science Museum Advisory Board. She is a Talented Theatre teacher for Lafayette Parish. She earned her BFA in drama at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. She graduated in 2006 with honors and merit scholarships. From 2008-2011, Alicia was an active ensemble member of the New York Neo-Futurists. Since moving to Lafayette, Louisiana 2011, she has directed, consulted, acted, or performed in over a dozen productions at the professional, university and community levels. She loves using her theatrical skills to further the mission of the League.



Alfred Doucette Jr.
Nominating, LWVLA

Alfred Doucette, Jr. is a past President and Vice President of LWV Lake Charles. He is a past President and Vice President of Lake Charles Toastmaster International 1225 and Coach and Vice President of Education of Great Speakers Unlimited 2484 Beaumont Texas. In Lake Charles he serves on the Mayor's Commission of Disability. Alfred is a life member and a past Commander of Chapter 17, Disabled American Veterans and 1999-2000 Aide to the National Commander. He earned an AA Degree in computer information system specialist and application specialist from Sowela Technical College. Alfred is a State Member and has served two terms on the LWVLA Board of Directors. Alfred is a 17 years Navy Vietnam Veteran. Alfred is a member of AARP Louisiana Executive Council Speaker Bureau and Veterans Council.