St. Charles fifth-grader named regional student of the year

Published 2:29 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

By Monique Roth


LAPLACE – Eighteen students from across the state, including fifth-grader Kevell Byrd from St. Charles Parish, have been named regional finalists for the Louisiana Student of the Year award.

Byrd, currently in fifth grade at Luling Elementary School, has been selected for the honor. Kevell is the daughter of Kevin and Shantrell Byrd of Luling.

Students were selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character and service to their community and schools. All public schools, as well as state-approved non-public schools, were asked to submit one candidate from their student body to compete at the district level. District-level winners then advanced to regional competitions.

Regional selection committees used portfolios of accomplishments created by each student, along with student writing samples and interviews, to assess the communication and critical-thinking skills of each candidate to name the regional finalists.

Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee will conduct interviews and review a writing sample from each of the regional finalists.

The 18 regional finalists include one fifth-grader, eighth-grader and 12th-grader from six regions. All regional finalists and state winners for each of the three grades will be honored on April 16 during a ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.

Byrd is active in her school and community. She has volunteered at Luling Nursing Home, the St. Charles Parish Health Unit, Luling Elementary and in various activities at her church, Mt. Zion Baptist. She has won several distinctions in music, sports, academics and gymnastics.

Byrd said that her faith is very important to her and that she has “learned that God has uniquely created us all and blessed us with gifts, and those gifts are to be used to be a blessing to others.”