Local teacher honored for excellence

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2002


MOZELLA – Winifred Washington, a teacher at Hahnville High School, is one of the first two recipients of a newly-established award – the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education President’s Education Award.

In conjunction with the state bar association, the award presentation is set Friday at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge. Bar association president Michael H. Rubin and state superintendent of education Cecil Picard will jointly present the awards.

Washington, a teacher of 12 years’ experience, expressed her surprise and delight at the announcement, but it came to no surprise to principal Barbara Fuselier.

“She does a great job,” Fuselier commented. “I’m glad she’s on staff here, and she’s doing a great job for the children.”

What Washington is doing in the classroom is clearing away the mystery and confusion about law and good citizenship for teen-agers.

Her course on business and personal law explains to her students their rights, as citizens, consumers and how the law will affect them when they turn 18 years of age.

Topics such as auto insurance and banking as well as rights as tenants are also discussed “because they can relate so easily,” Washington said.

She spent several years teaching special education at Carver Elementary School in Hahnville before becoming a teacher facilitator in technology. She is in her second year at Hahnville High.

Washington credits much of her achievements to workshops she’s participated in from the Louisiana Bar Association, as suggested by her supervisor, Dr. Alice Cryer-Sumler, at the school district’s central office.

Dr. Sumler urged her to enter the competition for the award, which included writing a one-page essay about her work with HHS students. A letter of support from Fuselier accompanied her application.

Washington added: “Our students are our future leaders, and we need to teach them about the laws of our state and the nation, thus enabling them to make sound decisions about their futures.”

Entries were judged by a LBA panel of lawyers, educators and civic leaders.

Washington is 45, a resident of LaPlace, and has two sons, ages 18 and 21.