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Photo of Taylor Henry, Caroline Moore and Katie BowlinThe atmosphere was electric as news quickly spread throughout Bossier Parish that the 2019 Students of the Year were being announced.

Accompanied by an entourage of educators, Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith made surprise visits January 16 to three schools to announce Taylor Henry had been chosen as Elementary Student of the Year, Caroline Moore as Middle School Student of the Year and Katie Bowlin as High School Student of the Year.

Henry is a fifth grader at W.T. Lewis Elementary who excels academically and in numerous other ways. She is a cheerleader at her school, participates in 4-H, FCA, Destination Imagination and performs in plays and theatrical productions. Henry also has a tremendous heart for helping others in need, having raised more than $10,000 to assist hurricane victims in Louisiana.

Moore is an eighth grade student at Benton Middle and actively involved in Student Council, FCA, First Priority and Destination Imagination. She is also a member of the Cross Country and Archery teams, plays soccer with CABOSA, and serves the community through her church. Her passion is shown through her interactions with the Lighthouse Foundation, Providence House and mission trips to Haiti.

Bowlin is a senior at Benton High and active member of Student Council, Tiger Girls danceline, FCA and First Priority. She has been involved in the National Honor Society, Gold Jackets, Bossier Youth Leadership and Special Olympics. One of her most notable accomplishments is being recognized as the Pay It Forward Networking Volunteer of the Year. Following graduation in May 2019, Bowlin plans to attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and major in Mass Communications with a concentration in Political Communications, then attend LSU Law School.

“These three young ladies are exemplary students and servant leaders and we could not be more proud than to have them represent Bossier Schools as the Parish Students of the Year,” Smith said.

Henry, Moore and Bowlin will now advance to the Regional Student of the Year competitions to be held next month in northwest Louisiana and be honored at the March 7 Bossier Parish School Board meeting by Student of the Year sponsor Citizens National Bank.

Posted 1/16/19

Group photo of Benton Elementary 2019 ALAS North Regional ChampionsThe new year is right on target for three Bossier Parish schools that claimed first place in their division at the 2019 ALAS (Archery in Louisiana Schools) North Regional Tournament held earlier this month in Shreveport.

Benton Elementary hit the bullseye and took home the first place trophy in the elementary division. Benton Middle Team 1 captured top honors in the middle school category and Haughton High School clenched the highest honor in the high school competition.

Several students also rose to the top as first place archers in their age categories. They are:  Kyleigh Bernard, Benton Elementary; Spencer Campbell, Kingston Elementary; Emma Rutledge, Thomas Allen and Brailey Bishop, Benton Middle; and Abbie Rutledge and Aidan Haire, Benton High. For complete results, click here.

Teams now have their sights set on the state tournament to be held in April, National in May and World in July.

Sure as shooting, the archery programs in Bossier Parish are right on point for a terrific season!

Posted 1/10/19

 

Photo of teacher Robert Gallant holding up a copy of SB MagazineGreenacres Middle School Science and Robotics teacher Robert Gallant is considered the best of the best.

He was recently surprised in class with the honor of being named by SB Magazine as Best Teacher, as voted on by readers. Gallant has been working in Bossier Schools since 2009, beginning as a substitute before graduating from Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University.

Congratulations to Robert Gallant! Bossier Schools is proud to call you one of our own.

Posted 1/10/19

Photo of Spencer Kiper in Louisiana Life magazineBossier Schools’ own Spencer Kiper can add yet another title to his growing repertoire. The 2019 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year has been named by Louisiana Life magazine as one of nine Louisianans of the Year.

Kiper is an award-winning STEM educator at Elm Grove Middle School who is being singled out by the magazine for thinking outside the box to expose his students to the real-world applications and possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math.

Outside of the classroom, Kiper is educating teachers at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama to build STEM programs at their schools and most recently in Abu Dhabi. .

There is no question Kiper is a rock star in Bossier Schools’ eyes. Now, others throughout the state, nation and world are seeing for themselves why he has been chosen among the select group of 2019 Louisianans of the Year.

Posted 1/8/19

 

 

Photo of Bossier Parish Teachers of the Year Sarah Sterner, Ashley Holliday and Jenna WinklerThe final days before the holiday break were made even more exciting for three Bossier Parish teachers who were surprised by an entourage, led by Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith, that burst into their classrooms with exciting news. They were chosen to represent the district as the 2019-20 Teachers of the Year.  

Sarah Sterner is the Elementary Teacher of the Year. The Sun City Elementary educator has taught kindergarten the last nine years and has taken on numerous leadership roles, from Kindergarten Team Leader and Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Facilitator to Spanish Club co-founder and co-sponsor and Response to Intervention (RTI) School Leadership Team Member.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl,” Sterner said. “To get to live out my dream is truly a blessing. My goal as a teacher is to teach my children to communicate with one another in effective ways and to learn problem solving skills they can carry with them throughout life.”

The Bossier Parish Middle School Teacher of the Year is Ashley Holliday, who has taught mathematics for six years at Benton Middle School. Holliday is involved in numerous leadership roles including Math Department Chair at Benton Middle, Leadership Team member and a Level 2 Certified Google Educator. She has also served on multiple committees at the district level and was named the 2017 Louisiana Teachers of Mathematics (LATM) Outstanding Secondary School Mathematics Teacher.    

“I am a firm believer that EVERY child can learn, and that every child deserves a fresh start each day,” Holliday remarked. “Each Monday morning for the past year, I have made it a priority to begin my week by listening to a TED Talk by a woman named Rita Pierson. She speaks of the power of human connection and how meeting a student’s basic needs will get my foot in the door to help them learn. She speaks of how tough and heartbreaking our jobs can be at times, and the hardships our children go through … Each day, I remind myself of what Rita says. ‘Every child deserves a champion and adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possible be.’ I want to be each and every child’s champion.”

A self-professed lover of learning, Jenna Winkler will represent Bossier Parish as the District High School Teacher of the Year. The Parkway High School English teacher has spent 10 years in education, the past seven of those in Bossier.

Winkler is a Content Leader at Parkway, assisting colleagues with curriculum, and was singled out for being an outstanding teacher at T.O. Rusheon and Haughton Middle Schools, where she previously taught.

“In my classroom, I try to represent the team effort philosophy,” Winkler explained. “I always want my students to understand that ‘we’re in this together,’ and I would do anything to keep them from feeling isolated in their endeavors. I believe in the power of collaboration and learning from peers because they will be working with various groups of people throughout their lifetime. Not only do I want them to be proud of their own academic achievements, but I also want them to value each other while encouraging their classmates in their academic progress.”

Winkler added, “I love being an educator because this is a profession unlike any other. I have the opportunity to watch my students progress and take ownership of their academics. Many of my students will positively impact society, and knowing that about them, makes my profession worth more than gold.”

Each school in Bossier Parish elects its own Teacher of the Year, who then competes at the district level. Sterner, Holliday and Winkler will now move on to the Regional Teacher of the Year competition in the spring with hopes of winning at that level and advancing as state finalists.

“These educators are already stand-outs at their schools, so to be chosen as our District Teachers of the Year speaks volumes about their expertise and passion for what they do,” said Superintendent Smith. “Teachers have the most important job there is, impacting children’s lives and helping to shape and mold them on their journey to success as adults. We thank each of our educators for what they do and congratulate the three who will advance to Regionals. They will represent Bossier Schools and all of us well.”

Posted 12/20/18

 

Group photo of MathCounts winnersDozens of Bossier Parish middle school students came with pencils sharpened and ready to crunch numbers, plug in formulas and solve equations and it showed.

The results for the 2018-19 Bossier Parish MathCounts Competition, held December 1,  were some of the closest yet, particularly for team scores.

Multiple schools walked away with recognitions both in individual and overall school team placing. Bossier Parish Math Curriculum Coordinator Jacob Hesselschwardt credits their success to the sacrifices made and countless hours put into preparing for the MathCounts competition.

Individual winners are:

First Place: Kyle Authment, Cope Middle, 45 points

Second Place: Trenton Lape, Elm Grove Middle, 22 points

Third Place: Owen Frans, Rusheon Middle, 16 points

School Team winners include:

First Place: Elm Grove Middle (Score of 27.8 points)

Mathletes include Samuel Espinoza, Trenton Lape, Gabe Falting, Christian Orozco, Cole Bowman, Chloe Larry, Josh Chandler, Ember Pierce, I’lei Washington, Addison Woodward, Reagan Posey, Sean Larson and Madison Hammet

Second Place: Cope Middle (Score of 26.3 pts.)

Cope Middle Mathletes are Kylie Authement, Sanya Patel, Tori Cole, Jackson Csoma, Ava Muslow, C.J. Walton and Raylon Bailey

Third Place: Benton Middle (Score of 15.8 pts.)

Benton Middle Mathletes include Sydney Gawel, Emily Jones, Naomi Boothe and Kaitlyn Malone

Congratulations to each of these outstanding Bossier Parish Mathletes!

Posted 12/3/18

Photo of a girl and boy dancingMinding your P’s and Q’s and following proper etiquette may not sound like a lesson students would look forward to, yet is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year at Cope Middle School.

For a week, seventh graders were immersed in an interdisciplinary unit on etiquette, referred at Cope as Social Development. Topics ranging from flag, cemetery and cell phone etiquette to the art of writing thank you notes, dancing, tipping and proper table etiquette were the focus of mini-lessons throughout the week.

As the grand finale on a Friday, students were able to dress in their finest clothes and display their manners at a luncheon hosted by Cope parents and local businesses, and their dancing skills at a dance held in the school gymnasium.

The Cope Cougars not only had a ball, but they learned a lot, too -- social development skills they will use for a lifetime.

Posted 11/16/18

 

Photo of student looking at a tombstoneVisiting a graveyard may not sound like a fun way to spend the day, but it is if you are on the annual Cope Middle School cemetery tour.

Seventh graders went on what has become an annual pilgrimage to Fillmore and Mount Zion Cemeteries in Haughton, then the historic Oakland Cemetery in Shreveport.

Students worked in small groups with a teacher or parent leader and collected data to use in math class. They also did rubbings and later discussed those epitaphs in English Language Arts class. Another highlight of the trip was working on a Scavenger Hunt, as well as completing a science activity.  

Prior to going on the cemetery tour, 7th grade ELA teacher Kayla Miller spoke to students about the historical things they would see. She pointed out interesting facts about each cemetery and answered questions.

This trip is a complete hands-on approach to learning.  By the time they finished, one thing was for sure; Cope students would never look at cemeteries the same way again!

Posted 11/12/18

 

Photo of Lisa Burns, Dr. Kyle Machen and Jason RowlandBossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith is pleased to announce the three school administrators that will represent the district as the 2019-20 Principals of the Year.

Lisa Burns was chosen as Elementary Principal of the Year. Burns is principal at W.T. Lewis. Dr. Kyle Machen, principal at Benton Middle School, will represent Bossier Parish as Middle School Principal of the Year and Jason Rowland, Airline High School principal, was selected as the High School Principal of the Year.

Each of these educators met a stringent list of criteria, including demonstration of leadership, positively impacting student achievement, innovation in and outside of the school building walls, engaging with stakeholders and adding value to their profession. The Bossier Parish School Board District Principal of the Year Committee based its selections on the criteria established by the state Department of Education.

Burns, Machen and Rowland will now advance to the state level and compete among candidates from school districts throughout Louisiana for the overall title of 2019-20 Principal of the Year.

Bossier Schools commends these three educators for the excellence they exemplify, congratulates them for this honor and wishes them the best at State.

Posted 11/7/18

Photo of 2019 LA Teacher of the Year Spencer KiperLook no farther than Elm Grove Middle School in Bossier Parish to find the 2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year.

STEM educator Spencer Kiper was named the top educator in the state July 27 by the Louisiana Department of Education at the 12th annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala in Baton Rouge. Kiper will now go on to represent Louisiana at the 2019 National Teacher of the Year competition.

This is the first time Bossier Parish has had the overall state Teacher of the Year winner. A proud graduate of Bossier Schools, Kiper teaches middle school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) enrichment and is heavily involved in building a stronger cyber presence in the region.

His accolades are many. Kiper has spent four summers as a professional development specialist for the Space Academy for Educators program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He is also a Henry Ford Institute Innovator of the Year recipient; Civil Air Patrol National Aerospace Educator of the Year and was most recently tapped by STEM Revolution to travel to Dubai to train teachers from United Arab Emirates about innovative STEM instructional practices.

During his acceptance speech, Kiper praised the educators that have made an impact in his life and inspired him to be the teacher he is today. He also gave special recognition to Elm Grove Middle School Principal Jennifer Armond for being an exceptional team builder who has further contributed to his success in the classroom.

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith, who attended the awards gala to cheer on Kiper, said “Over the next year, he will be a great ambassador for Bossier Parish and the Louisiana as he competes for our state at the national level. Spencer has a great chance nationally because of the excellence he brings to this profession every single minute of the day, both instructional and non-instructional.”

As part of his prize package, Kiper received keys to a new Mercedes Benz for the next year, Community Coffee for the teachers’ lounge at Elm Grove Middle for a year and more incentives, all made possible by the nonprofit organization Dream Teachers.

Posted 7/28/18