Barker named state’s top middle school teacher

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Celebration now being planned for Harry Hurst Middle School English instructor

BATON ROUGE — Allison Barker of Hurst Middle School was named Louisiana’s 2006 Junior/ Middle School Teacher of the Year,

Barker teaches 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts and has 17 years of teaching experience. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and has taught in Venezuela and Portugal.

At the same time, Brenda Lofton, a Math and Science teacher at A.E. Phillips Lab School in Lincoln Parish, was named Louisiana Teacher of the Year.

The winners was announced by State Superintendent of Education Cecil J. Picard at a meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in Baton Rouge.

Lofton has 19 years of teaching experience and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She enjoys creating hands-on and technology-rich learning experiences for her students. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Masterworks Young Singers of Ruston and is the Children’s Choir Director for Calvary Baptist Church.

Nominees for Teacher of the Year are identified by their local school systems and progress through a regional selection process.

The 24 finalists in the elementary, middle and secondary school categories from eight regions of the state are interviewed by a state selection committee charged with selecting Louisiana’s Teacher of the Year. The overall Teacher of the Year advances to the national competition, to be concluded in the summer.

Winners are judged on specific criteria, including teaching skills and dedication; plans to continue in the profession; respect of students, parents and coworkers; community leadership; contributions to school groups; affiliations with educational organizations and demonstration of a superior ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.

“We honor our outstanding teachers because we know that they have a profound impact on the lives of their students, their communities and the state as a whole,” said State Superintendent of Education Cecil J. Picard. “As Louisiana rebuilds after this year’s hurricanes, this state’s teachers are playing a tremendous role, and it highlights even more the need for us to celebrate their service,” Picard said.

“These teachers make a personal commitment every day to excellence in the classroom, not because they were mandated to do so, but because of their own desire to instill in every student a love of learning,” said Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Glenny Lee Buquet. “I am delighted to honor them.”

Regional winners include:

Region VI-

Patricia Melancon-Lutcher High School, St. James Parish.