DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES 2016 TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR

Jul 11, 2015

Elementary, Middle, and High School Educators Honored at 9th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium

BATON ROUGE, La. - As education in Louisiana enters a time of unprecedented change - adopting new academic standards, more challenging assessments, and modern diploma paths to career and college - the Department celebrated the work of some the educators trusted to lead this change in our classrooms. The Department tonight announced the overall 2016 Teacher and Principal of the Year at the 9th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration. The annual symposium is a day of professional development and recognition for Teacher and Principal of the year semi-finalists and finalists.

The 2016 Teacher of the Year is Kelly Stomps, a K-3 music teacher at Woodlake Elementary School in St. Tammany Parish. As a teacher, Stomps’ greatest joy is opening up the doors to new possibilities, and to new experiences, and letting her students see their full potential. She is a founding member of the Redstick Orff Chapter, an organization that provides professional development for music teachers throughout Louisiana, impacting all students throughout the state. As the 2016 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Stomps drove away with a one-year lease on a new Mercedes, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Baton Rouge.

The 2016 Principal of the Year is Carolyn Bosley, principal at Rosepine Elementary School in Vernon Parish. Ms. Bosley became principal at Rosepine Elementary School in January 2013 with a goal of turning the “C” school into an “A” school, a goal her staff accomplished in just two years. In her first year, the school increased its letter grade to “B” with 81 percent of students performing at or above grade level. During her second year, Ms. Bosley credits the hard work of her staff for increasing their performance score more than 10 points to become an “A” school and achieving Top Gains status while increasing percentage of students performing at or above grade level to 88 percent.

“This event inspires us to understand we have many great teachers and principals in Louisiana,” said State Superintendent John White. “This is an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and the selfless gift they have given our state and our children. They have dedicated their working lives to making a better world. In these honorees, we see the best in our profession.”

Additionally, recognized during the evening were the 2016 Elementary, Middle, and High School Teacher and Principal of the Year winners. The 2016 Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Mr. Pablo Menendez Pato, Geraldine Boudreaux Elementary School, Jefferson Parish; the 2016 Middle School Teacher of the Year is Ms. Summer Skarke, Lacache Middle School, Terrebonne Parish; and, the 2016 High School Teacher of the Year is Ms. Nicole Vasquez, Captain Shreve High School, Caddo Parish.

The 2016 Elementary School Principal of the Year is Ms. Cheri Fontenot, James Stephens Montessori School, Evangeline Parish; the 2016 Middle School Principal of the Year is Ms. Rene Lewis-Carter, Martin Behrman Charter School Academy of Creative Arts and Sciences, Algiers Charter School Association; and, the 2016 High School Principal of the Year Mr. Jim Carroll, West Feliciana High School, West Feliciana Parish.

“These outstanding honorees exemplify the leadership and commitment Louisiana’s teachers and principals demonstrate every day in preparing our students for the future,” said Dr. Holly Boffy, secretary-treasurer of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and a previous Louisiana State Teacher of the Year. “On behalf of BESE, I wish to congratulate all the finalists and extend a heartfelt thanks to all our educators for their service to our children and state.”

Also honored during the evening’s festivities was the Louisiana Association of State Superintendent’s Superintendent of the Year, Patrice Pujol of Ascension Parish. Mrs. Pujol’s career in Ascension Parish education has spanned nearly four decades since becoming an English teacher at East Ascension Junior High School in 1977. She became the first female to serve as Superintendent of the Ascension Parish School System in June 2010. This upcoming school year, Ascension Parish will implement the Teach Ascension Academy as part of the Believe and Prepare initiative to certify high-quality college graduates with a strong desire to become teachers. Additionally, Mrs. Pujol developed and implemented a teacher coach program providing ongoing professional development and support for teachers and many other innovative teaching improvement strategies. Supt. Pujol was also named a finalist for the National Superintendent of the Year Award by the American Association of School Administrators.

Dream Teachers, a non-profit organization founded in 2006 for the purpose of recognizing Louisiana’s finest educators and education leaders and to encourage educational excellence, served as presenting sponsor of the 9th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium.

Other sponsors for the event included the Albermarle Foundation, the Boo Grigsby Foundation, Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge, Entergy, ExxonMobil, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, Mercedes-Benz of Baton Rouge, and the E.J. and Marjory B. Ourso Family Foundation.

# # # # # #