3 from local area chosen as top teachers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – Dream Teachers and the Louisiana Department of Education have announced that three River Parishes educators have been selected as 2015 Louisiana Teacher or Principal of the Year semifinalists.

The two local teachers selected as semifinalists are Angela Davis, a third-grade teacher at Garyville Magnet, and Damon Jackson, a civics teacher at St. James High School. Hanhville High School Principal Ken Oertling has been selected as a principal of the year semifinalist.

“It’s a privilege to be able to recognize these semifinalists who represent the personal commitments to excellence made every day in schools and classrooms around the state,” said State Superintendent John White. “Our teachers and principals are the backbone of our educational system.”

Hundreds of teachers and principals were nominated by their respective schools to receive special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the education of pre-K through high school Louisiana students. In the end, 15 teachers and 15 principals were selected for the honor.

To celebrate their success in the classroom, Dream Teachers and its corporate and community sponsors provide award packages totaling more than $100,000 to semifinalists, finalists and the 2015 winners of the coveted Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year designations.

The selected educators will be recognized at the eighth annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration to be held July 12 in Baton Rouge.

The annual symposium is conducted in partnership with the LDOE and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

During the day of the celebration, hundreds of teachers will be honored at a luncheon hosted by Dream Teachers featuring New York Times best-selling author Ron Clark. Workshops will follow the luncheon.

Both the Louisiana Teacher of the Year and the Louisiana Principal of the Year to be named at the symposium will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete at the national level.

“Congratulations to all of the semifinalists. These outstanding educators truly inspire not only their students and those they lead, but all of us through their unceasing dedication to children,” said Dream Teachers Chairman Jamey Firnberg.

Dream Teacher is a nonprofit organization created to publicly recognize the best and brightest education professionals in the state. It is a unique public-private partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.