Readers’ Pick for Top Teacher: RA’s Lindsay Guidry sees reward in student growth

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

RESERVE — The pretty cake and shiny plaque were just momentary distractions for the 20 or so Riverside Academy kindergarten students in Lindsay Guidry’s class Friday morning.

They were more concerned with the tears that had sprung to their teacher’s eyes.

Lindsay Guidry takes a photo of her L’OBSERVATEUR Readers’ Choice Favorite Teacher of the River Parishes plaque while Riverside Academy principal Mike Coburn assists.

Guidry, or “Mrs. Lindsay” to most, had just been surprised in her classroom by Riverside principal Mike Coburn, assistant principal Cheree Gomez and representatives from L’OBSERVATEUR, who were there to announce that Guidry had been selected as the Reader’s Choice Favorite Teacher of the River Parishes.

The children still were eyeing the cake, but first they wanted to hug their beloved teacher, who said she was about to cry.

“Don’t cry! Don’t cry,” the children shouted as they swarmed her in a group hug.

“It’s Ok,” one soothed as Guidry told them, “These are happy tears.”

Lindsay Guidry gets a hug from her kindergarten students.

Then they were ready for cake.

Guidry was slightly overwhelmed by all the fuss.

A former Riverside Academy student herself, Guidry has taught kindergarten at the school for 12 years and she loves it.

“You get to see so much growth at this age,” she said. “They come to you knowing pretty much just letters, and by the time they leave you they’re reading and writing. It’s so rewarding.”

When asked what was the best thing she did, the students replied (loudly), “teach,” although, one bright-eyed youngster said his favorite thing she did was show them how to make flowers for their moms for Mother’s Day.

“The best thing about her is she is the best teacher in the entire world,” shouted another.

That made Guidry smile, and want to cry again.

Lindsay Guidry received a cake and plaque from sponsors of the L’OBSERVATEUR Readers’ Choice Favorite Teacher of the River Parishes.

Guidry, who is married to Joseph “Joey” Guidry, has two sons, Eli and Owen, and is expecting her third son in the fall.

Gomez said Guidry has extraordinary patience with her students and is always fair in dealing with them.

“She’s a wonderful teacher,” Gomez said. “Her students feel comfortable in her class. She respects them. She’s nurturing. She goes over and above to make sure they understand the material and she challenges them at their level. The kids are reading. Every night they’re taking home a different book. They’re writing sentences. They’re ready for first grade — every single one of them.”

Gomez added that Guidry also was the selection for the Teacher of the Year at the school for all the same reasons.

L’OBSERVATEUR readers were asked to fill out an entry for their favorite teacher and return it to the newspaper’s LaPlace office. The winner was chosen in a random drawing.

Kimberly Keller of LaPlace, a caregiver who takes care of youngsters after school, nominated Guidry for the newspaper’s annual contest, earning herself a prize in the process.

None of Keller’s children have had Guidry for their teacher, but one of those she cares for has. She also has seen Guidry in action while picking up children at the school.

“I’d just see her every day at school and she was always so good with them,” Keller said. “The kids I watch talk about her and how nice she is.”