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Photos of Shelby Ledet, Zach Cryer and Shannon MathersA National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist and award-winning debater; an aspiring Cyber Engineer and president of his school’s Student Council; and a young lady who loves acting and dreams of helping animals by becoming a veterinarian. That is a small glimpse at the three students surprised today by Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey with the news they were selected as the 2019-20 Bossier Parish Students of the Year.

Shelby Ledet is a fifth grader at Stockwell Place Elementary and is the Bossier Parish Elementary Student of the Year. Her talents run the gamut, from being a gymnast and playing Dorothy in a school performance to being a community volunteer and member of her school’s world-winning archery team, Ledet is excited to advance to regionals and represent Bossier Schools at the Louisiana Student of the Year competition. 

Middle School Student of the Year Zach Cryer is in eighth grade at Benton Middle and President of the Student Council. He is also Team Captain for Math Counts and Cyber Patriots, participates in archery, 4-H and plans to pursue a degree in Cyber Engineering. Cryer is no stranger to the Student of the Year competition. When in fifth grade, he was named the 2017 Louisiana Elementary Student of the Year. 

Airline High School senior Shannon Mathers is the district’s High School Student of the Year. The accomplished 12th grader is a National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist, President of math honor society Mu Alpha Theta and Vice President of Airline’s debate team. Mathers is also an AP Scholar of Distinction whose career goal is to improve the quality of life through innovative machines in mechanical engineering, and to better the accessibility and prevalence of renewable energy sources. 

“These three students are nothing short of amazing. Not only are they academically on top of their game, but I am in awe of how involved they are at their schools and in the community,” said Superintendent Downey. “Bossier Schools will be represented well at the regional level of the Louisiana Student of the Year competition and we have high hopes Shelby, Zach and Shannon will advance to State. We could not be more proud to call them Bossier’s own.”

Posted 1/14/20

Clip art of a bullseyeArchery teams throughout Bossier Parish started the new year right on target with the bullseye in their sights. 

The 2020 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) North Regional Tournament was held Saturday, January 4 in Shreveport and teams and individual archers from Bossier Schools nabbed top rankings. 

This tournament is bullseye only and in the individual category the top five males and females were combined. Here is a look at the rankings: 

 

Elementary Team

1.  Stockwell Place 2957

2.  Benton Elementary 2906

3.  Kingston 2857

 

Elementary Individuals

1.  Savannah O'Donohue (Stockwell Place) 293

2.  Abram Coats (Stockwell Place) 283

3.  Shelby Ledet (Stockwell Place) 271

4.  Hallie Moore (Princeton) 267

5.  Bethany Elston (Benton Elementary) 265

 

Middle Team

1.  Benton Middle 3353

2.  Haughton Middle 3352

3.  Cope Middle 3193

 

Middle Individuals

1.  Madison Hammersla (Benton MS) 291

2.  Alexys Brown (Haughton MS)  288

3.  Jack Wilwert (Greenacres) 285

4.  Matthew Hollis (Haughton MS) 285 (tie)

4.  Taylor Bourn (Haughton MS) 285 (tie)

5.  Corbin Nash (Benton MS) 284 

 

High School Team

1.  Benton HS 3322

2.  Haughton HS 3246

 

High School Individuals

1.  Aidan Haire (Benton) 295

2.  Riley Daniels (Benton) 287

4.  Emma Rutledge (Benton) 284

5.  Ayden Davis (Airline) 282

 

Once again, our archers put Bossier Schools on the map. Congratulations to each of them. Now, they are shooting for state. That tournament will be held April 4 in Shreveport. Good luck! 

Posted 1/8/20

 

Teresa Carey holds up a giant cookie cake, along with her cafeteria staffFood is Teresa Carey’s love language. The long-time cafeteria manager at Bossier Elementary knows if children are hungry, they cannot learn. Yet Carey fills more than their tummies; she feeds their souls. 

“She is not only a fixture at our school, but she is also one in our neighborhood,” said principal Dr. Norcha Lacy. “Our students frequently visit her home and she feeds them just as she does in the cafeteria. She genuinely loves our students and it shows in her every action at Bossier El. We are the ones who are blessed to have her serve us.” 

Cassie Rogers seconds that sentiment. 

“A recipe card can be followed by anyone. However, when you eat food with extra ingredients that make it taste extraordinary, you must understand her extra ingredients are love, compassion and living in her purpose,” Rogers wrote. 

Home is where the heart is, and for Carey that place is Bossier Elementary. She has spent nearly the last 31 years there, loving on her Bearkittens, which includes many of her students’ parents and grandparents. There is a quote about blooming where you are planted and Carey is, unquestionably, rooted here. 

“There’s no other school in Bossier Parish that is more grateful than I see here,” Carey explained. “The big kids help the little kids. They take care of each other and you get attached. They are the ones that need it the most and are willing to learn … This is their safe place. I live in this neighborhood and see fighting, screaming … Let them be a child while they are here. I want them to succeed and grow up to a better life.” 

It would be easy to do her job and go home, but Carey chooses to go the extra mile. She recently wrote words of affirmation on the bananas all 400 kids received for lunch. Carey decorates the cafeteria for the seasons and rewards children for knowing their math facts when she quizzes them in line. The examples are many and her actions do not go unnoticed. It is why she was overwhelmingly nominated for, and chosen as the December winner of Bossier Schools’ Gold Star award. 

“Mrs. Teresa is always willing to help students and even washes uniforms or jackets for students in need,” attested Debbie Mitchell. 

“She takes great pride in making sure they have the best, not only in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch, but she has donated handmade mittens and gloves for the students in the winter each year,” added Dana Hensley. “She is also one of the first people to volunteer to cook, on her own time, and donate food for any teacher appreciation lunch or in-service activity. She loves to support everyone at BES and her smile and ‘good morning’ as you walk past her office in the early morning starts off the day right!”

No one knows better how much Carey pours her heart into Bossier Elementary than her daughter, Sharon Pollock, who fondly remembers spending time in the cafeteria before and after school while her mom worked to make sure her school children had everything they needed. 

“She is more than a cafeteria manager to students. She is a constant in the lives of the students she serves,” Pollock said. “The students of Bossier El can count on her to be there everyday (she refuses to ever miss work because her kids need her) greeting them with a smile … My mom understands that some of the students she feeds depend on her for their only food for the day. She shows her students compassion and understanding and gives them all the extra love they crave.” 

Rogers summed it up, perhaps the best, when she said “It is not everyday that you get to witness a real life superhero. An extraordinary human with superhuman abilities that they use. Someone who is actually living every day in the purpose that they are put on this earth for. With just one encounter involving Teresa Carey you’ll 100-percent understand why she is more than deserving of this Gold Star award.” 

Agreed. Congratulations to our Gold Star winner, Teresa Carey! 

 

Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that is deserving of recognition for going above and beyond? Nominate them for the Gold Star award, sponsored by Bossier Federal Credit Union. Just go to https://www.bossierschools.org/goldstarnews and tell us what sets them apart. They may be next month’s winner!

Posted 12/10/19

 

Photo of Vanessa Bradshaw with her grandson holding a cookie cakeSome people are just synonymous with a specific place and Vanessa Bradshaw is one of those. She not only works at Princeton Elementary, she ‘is’ Princeton Elementary. 

The long-time school secretary’s positive attitude and friendly smile are what greet visitors and educators when they first walk through the door, and have done so for two decades. 

“Even with parents and students trying to get registered, her genuine and warm smile made this very nervous and new teacher (to not only the school, but the parish) feel welcome,” Rachel Holtsclaw wrote. “Since that day, I have learned that this selfless woman keeps that warm smile on her face every day, no matter what the day may bring.” 

Miki Perry calls Bradshaw “the heart of Princeton Elementary,” pointing out she takes care of all scheduling, money collected, enrolling and dropping students, taking care of new hires and countless other tasks that keep the school humming. All with a smile and cheerful countenance. 

When Assistant Principal Jamie East came to Princeton a couple of years ago, she quickly recognized the gift Bradshaw possesses to lift up others. It is what led her and many others at the school to nominate their beloved secretary for Bossier Schools’ Gold Star employee award for the month of October. 

“Mrs. Bradshaw is the shining light that greets our visitors, staff and students with a bright smile every day. She is a Princeton institution,” East said. “With her at the helm, all documents are turned in on time and completed to a tee! Need someone to speak life into during a bad day? Mrs. Bradshaw is the one to go to. Need a shoulder to cry on? She is always there to convey wisdom and empathy. Mrs. Bradshaw shines bright every day and is definitely Princeton’s Gold Star!” 

“I love our community and I love our school,” Bradshaw said quietly after being surprised with the Gold Star award by Bossier Schools Assistant Superintendent Jason Rowland. “I’m just very honored to be selected and feel blessed to work at a place like Princeton.” 

Given her number of years at the school, Bradshaw reflected on how she has watched life evolve full circle. 

“It’s awesome to see a lot of my former students who are parents with children here now,” she commented. 

Not only is Bradshaw a fixture at Princeton, but in the community as well. Rarely does she go anywhere and not know someone. She is just that kind of person who makes an indelible impression. Call it her mission field or life’s calling, but Bradshaw credits a mothers’ prayer group she has been a part of for 15 years for how she approaches each day. 

“Be a shining light to whoever walks in that door and that involves being kind and generous and sometimes just helping meet needs.” 

Her mantra tells a lot about Bradshaw. A shining light who radiates kindness, compassion and embodies everything a Gold Star should.

 

 

Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that is deserving of recognition for going above and beyond? Nominate them for the Gold Star award, sponsored by Bossier Federal Credit Union. Just go to https://www.bossierschools.org/goldstarnews

and tell us what sets them apart. They may just be next month’s winner!

Posted 10/28/19

Photo of Kathy Ivie, Gold Star winner for September 2019Kathy Ivie exudes everything a parent would want their child’s kindergarten teacher to be. 

The Apollo Elementary educator is described as happy, bubbly, dedicated, inspired, talented and authentic. Her colleagues call her “a delight to those she works with” and one who “makes anything she touches sparkle with charm.” 

“Kathy is one of those remarkable human beings who possesses every quality an educator needs,” wrote Angela Moore. “When Kathy is in charge of anything, you know the result will be stellar. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She is one of the most inspiring educators I have ever worked with.” 

Parents sing her praises, too.

“Kathy has had a profound impact on my son’s education and future,” Erin Hughes shared. “From the time we met Kathy last year, she has given 100-percent of her time and endless hours helping her students both inside and outside of the classroom. My son has special needs and Kathy never gave up on him while we were going through medication adjustments, psychological evaluations and behavioral concerns … She really has played a huge part in helping our son have a strong academic foundation for the rest of his life.” 

Ivie’s love for her profession and the children she teaches is apparent, not only by the glowing nominations submitted on her behalf to win Bossier Schools’ Gold Star award, but also the thunderous applause received when she was named the winner for September at a school-wide assembly. 

“This was never on my radar,” Ivie gushed after the big reveal. “It means the world. It means I feel loved. Appreciated. I feel everything I do is worth it, but I know there are so many educators out there just as deserving … It inspires me to do more and it reminds me don’t ever give up when things get rough, because something good is going to come out of it.”

Ivie has been an educator for 26 years, having taught every grade up to eighth, with the exception of first grade. Kindergarteners, though, are the ones who have stolen her heart.

“I love that we get to take the kiddos where they are and lay the foundation they will carry with them their entire educational career,” Ivie explained. “I love teaching reading and seeing their eyes light up when they read a new word and it opens a whole new world for them. It’s just amazing and so rewarding and worth it.” 

She truly connects with her students, bringing her A-game to the classroom each day, without fail. 

Krystal Shelton said, “I am a parent of three boys. My oldest was in her class and now my middle child is in her class. She has the most loving personality for those students every day. She is like Disney World every day. She has become more than a teacher to my boys. She has become my friend.” 

Apollo Principal Melanie Watts adds it takes a special person to teach kindergarten, and Ivie is the perfect example.

“Mrs. Ivie is so deserving of this Gold Star. She always puts her students first and has a true love for teaching. When students leave her classroom at the end of the year, they have a strong foundation and a love for reading. We are very thankful for all that Mrs. Ivie brings to Apollo.” 

When asked to describe her perfect day as a teacher, Ivie summed it up list this.

“It’s a day you come into the classroom and welcome kids from all walks of life. We create an environment where you make it fun and for them to want to learn. We create a family where every person is valued, and at the end of the day they go home and want to come back the next day to our family.” 

 

Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that is deserving of recognition for going above and beyond? Nominate them for the Gold Star award, sponsored by Bossier Federal Credit Union. Just go to https://www.bossierschools.org/goldstarnews

and tell us what sets them apart. They may just be next month’s winner! 

Posted 9/24/19

Group photo of Superintendent Downey with students that earned perfect LEAP scoresA big shout-out to the students that earned 76 perfect LEAP scores in one or more content areas of the spring 2019 state assessment.

 

These students were recognized in a special way at the September 19 Bossier Parish School Board meeting. Superintendent Mitch Downey gave them passes to Dixie Maze Farms as part of his first Superintendent Shout-Out award.

 

Special thanks to Mike Billings from Dixie Maze Farms and Cumulus Radio for sponsoring this Superintendent Shout-Out, which is a special pat on the back given to Bossier Parish students and employees for doing something exceptional. These students definitely did that!

Posted 9/23/19

 

Photo of JC Moton, the Gold Star winner, next to the school s administratorsCarey DeLaune perhaps said it best when she wrote, “We all know the custodians of the school are the unsung heroes. There are so many jobs they do that we cannot possibly list them all because much of what they do is not always visible to everyone.” 

The Sun City Elementary teacher was referring to head custodian J.C. Moton, a fixture at the school for the last 16 years, who is there before everyone arrives in the morning and the last one who leaves at night. He is even there on weekends, holidays and odd hours to make sure everything gets done. Moton’s dedication visibly shows, too. 

“Our floors may be old, but he makes them SHINE!” Kristi Pierce said. 

He is also Principal Kim Tuminello’s right hand, who she deems “a workaholic.” 

“This summer he worked until midnight many times helping to prepare the (new classroom) wing so that teachers could get moved in and prepare their classrooms,” Tuminello explained. “He saved the day when so many delays kept teachers from moving into their classrooms in enough time to have them prepared for the ribbon cutting and the start of school.” 

It was the faculty’s appreciation and admiration for Moton that led to dozens of nominations being submitted for him to win Bossier Schools’ first Gold Star employee award of the school year. He was caught off-guard when he walked into a school-wide assembly with PreK-3rd graders screaming and applauding for Moton as he was announced as the Gold Star winner. 

“I’m shocked. I’m surprised. I didn’t know I was that important,” he later said. 

Sun City Elementary is like a second family to Moton. He is one of only three men who works there. The other 67 are women who he is quick to lend a hand when needed.  

“He has come into my classroom many times to grab my car keys because I would have a heavy box or case of water in the car that he carried inside for me,” Jackie Pease wrote. “This is a man who has always gone above and beyond to help with anything that one of us ladies has asked of him.” 

He does it all with a smile, too -- and, as Rachel Garlington will tell you, Moton is always good for a laugh. 

“Mr. J.C. is an absolute lifesaver for me! I know he hates to see me coming because I always have something big I need him to do.” Being the school’s music teacher, Garlington added “He often comes on the weekends and holidays to take down or put up a stage or do extra things that need to be done around our school. He is always good for a good laugh and loves to ask me how my day is going -- he knows it will be a good story! I truly hope he knows how much we love and appreciate everything he does for us! The only problem I ever have is when he tries to scare me with the rubber snake, which he thinks is hysterical to do!” 

Moton got a chuckle about that, nodding his head and adding “Mrs. Garlington started screaming and running.” 

Animal encounters are nothing foreign to this head custodian, though. He has been tasked with skunk removals more than once. Luckily, Moton has never been sprayed. 

At the end of the day, It is the personal satisfaction of “just getting it done” that is Moton’s reward. That, and knowing how much he is appreciated.

“Sun City would not run smoothly without JC,” Kayla Vaughan observed. “He is truly a Gold Star to all of us and he is much deserving of this award.” 

 

Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that is deserving of recognition for going above and beyond? Nominate them for the Gold Star award, sponsored by Bossier Federal Credit Union. Just click here and tell us what sets them apart. They may just be next month’s winner!

Posted 8/27/19