St. John Parish names Educators of the Year for 2014-15

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By Monique Roth

RESERVE — St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District has named its 2014-15 District Principal and Teachers of the Year, and the list of honorees include Antoinette Robinet, Claude Hill Jr., Natalie Klibert and Lynn Jamieson.

“These educators exemplify our goal of improving learning by helping their students reach new levels every day,” Superintendent Kevin George said. “They are the top representation of the educators in our district who show a commitment to going above and beyond in service to our students.”

This year’s District Principal of the Year is Robinet, principal at Emily C. Watkins Elementary School.

Robinet has been principal of ECW since it opened six years ago. Prior to that, she was assistant principal at John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School and spent 20 years as a teacher at East St. John High School.

Under her leadership, ECW’s School Performance Score grew an impressive 14.3 points this year. She credits the growth to focusing on the needs of individual students, adding educators at the school analyze test scores to identify students who need help and then provide it to them.

“I can’t say enough about the dedication of the teachers in the classroom,” Robinet said.

“What happened this year is the result of five and a half years of work as a team … I really feel like this honor is a joint effort.”

Hill of East St. John High School is this year’s District High School Teacher of the Year.

Hill has been a teacher at ESJH for 17 years, and for the past seven years has taught algebra II and honors algebra II to students in 10th through 12th grade.

Hill is a mentor for new teachers and is a member of the Positive Behaviors and Support team. He has also worked on the school improvement plan and is a member of the leadership team.

Hill received his masters in educational leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University in August, and this is the second time he has been named by his school as Teacher of the Year.

“I’m put in the position to be a role model,” Hill said. “I believe I can offer students a lot more than math.”

Hill said he hopes to show his students “that if I can do it, you can do it, and part of that is taking something as complex as algebra and making it understandable and manageable for teens.”

Klibert of John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School is the District Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Klibert left the business world to follow her passion for education just a year and a half ago, but officials said but she’s managed to accomplish a lot in that short amount of time.

Klibert was part of the team that wrote the Scope and Sequence for the school district and has led professional development workshops for other staff.

She piloted the Literacy Design Collaborative, an instructional system designed to improve students’ literacy skills and support the Common Core State Standards, and started a student council at Ory, where she is also co-chair of the beta club.

Klibert has also been involved in helping students who are falling behind by implementing interventions such as Wow Wednesday, when teachers give up their planning period to help students who are struggling academically. She also tutors students after school twice a week.

“I love being able to connect with my students and finding that key that unlocks the door for them,” Klibert said.

Jamieson of LaPlace Elementary School is the District Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

Jamieson has been a teacher in the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School System for 20 years, and has spent the past 10 years at LES, where she teaches fifth grade.

Jamieson organizes the school social studies and science fair and does fair projects with her students in class to even the playing field for children who may not get the help they need at home. She also participates in after-school tutoring, and administrators said she is always willing to tutor students who ask.

“Anything they ask for I will help them with,” she said. “If a student asks for help … I will stay, because if a child actually asks for help (then) he is serious about learning.”

Jamieson said she expects her students to work at a high level, and she strives to make her tests throughout the year difficult so the pressure of end-of-the-year tests will seem easier to her students.

The strategy seems to have paid off, with 92 percent of Jamieson’s students improving in math on the LEAP test and 85 percent improving overall.

District Director of Personnel Paige Eschette said the primary criteria used to select honorees was student performance.

“Our district was proud to have one of our teachers make it to the finals of the state Teacher of the Year competition last year,” she said, “and we are excited about our current parish candidates representing our district this year on the state level.”