May 30, 2023
Teacher and Principal of the Year Finalists, Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship winners announced during Tuesday morning’s opening session

(NEW ORLEANS, LA) - The Louisiana Department of Education welcomed nearly 6,000 educators from across the state today for its annual Teacher Leader Summit. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley served as the keynote speaker for this morning’s opening ceremony, which also included the live announcement of Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists and the Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship winners.

Teacher Leader Summit is one of two statewide educator conferences hosted by the LDOE this week in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The Summit takes place May 30 to June 1. The second annual Early Childhood Conference is June 2-3.

Dr. Brumley’s keynote address encouraged Louisiana educators to take advantage of the state’s recent academic achievements and focus intently on key issues such as literacy, high school transformation, and teacher collaboration.

“There’s no time to be passive or to accept the status quo. Our work is too important. We need bold teachers and leaders, ready to step up, and focus on what’s best for students,” Dr. Brumley said during his opening remarks. “There are many ways we could be distracted; don’t be. Instead, be brave.”

Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year Finalists

Nine teachers and nine principals were named Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists live during the opening ceremony today. These 18 educators represent school systems across the state.

Overall winners will be announced and all finalists and semifinalists will be honored at the 17th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala, which will be held at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on the evening of July 22. This exciting event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers.

Louisiana Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Bossier Parish: Cory Craig
  • Caddo Parish: Janet McCrevan
  • City of Monroe School District: Kody Chase
  • East Baton Rouge Parish: Kylie Altier
  • Franklin Parish: Jessica Parker
  • Natchitoches Parish: Michelle Shirley
  • Tangipahoa Parish: Dennis Pevey
  • The Willow School: Richard Martin
  • Zachary Community School District: Sandra Saye-Foucqueteau

Louisiana Principal of the Year Semifinalists

  • Ascension Parish: Marvin Evans
  • Calcasieu Parish: Jose Cobian
  • Cameron Parish: Lindsey Fontenot
  • DeSoto Parish : Barry Carter
  • Jefferson Parish: Monya Criddle
  • Lafayette Parish: Tia Trahan
  • Lafourche Parish: Ragan Lorraine
  • Lincoln Preparatory School: Gordan Ford
  • Livingston Parish: Jason St. Pierre 
Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship Winners

St. Bernard Parish Public Schools teacher Justin Templet and Tangipahoa Parish School System teacher Stephanie Robertson were named Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship winners during the opening ceremony today. The fellowship program allows recipients to spend a school year advocating for an education initiative of their choosing. Initiatives are aligned to the Department’s priorities. Winners are chosen from the previous year’s Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year semifinalists and finalists.

Justin Templet teaches English IV, Advanced Placement English literature and composition, and Dual Enrollment composition II at Chalmette High. His fellowship project is to create a writing center on his high school campus similar to what can be found at many community colleges and universities. Templet, who is a former valedictorian of Chalmette High, is developing the center to provide all students with an inviting space to write and grow. Operated by faculty, students, and educators from the University of New Orleans, the center will encourage effective writing across the curriculum and provide concrete strategies and skills for effective communication.

Stephanie Robertson is a vocal music teacher at Ponchatoula High. Her fellowship project is a research-based initiative that seeks to help music educators and education stakeholders gain a better understanding of the music programs throughout Louisiana. It will provide music educators and education stakeholders resources, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities on advocating for quality music education programs. The Power of Music: Research on Music Education Programs in Louisiana seeks to provide a foundation to revitalize and grow music programs in Louisiana.

About this week’s conferences

Teacher Leader Summit is an annual professional development conference that brings together Louisiana birth to grade 12 educators and content experts. Educators participating in the event will share their knowledge, learn new skills, and prepare for the 2023-2024 school year. This year’s Teacher Leader Summit will focus on the ability of Louisiana educators to accelerate to success every single day.

The Early Childhood Conference will provide opportunities for education and training for childcare providers, teachers, and administrators who serve children from birth to age four.