School District names principal, teachers of the year

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

RESERVE — The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board has named its 2017-18 District Principal and Teachers of the Year.

Principal of the Year

Jason Beber has been principal at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School for the past four years.

He previously served as an assistant principal at East St. John High School, where he oversaw the Freshman Academy. Beber also worked for eight years as a physical education teacher at LaPlace Elementary School.

He currently serves on the 4H Foundation Board, the Pupil Progression Committee and is a member of the National Association of Principals. His school was recently named a Top Gains School by the Louisiana Department of Education for growing its School Performance Score by more than 10 points.

“Lake Pontchartrain Elementary’s faculty and staff are committed to growing EVERY student,” Beber said. “We take great pride in the growth we have made in the last three years.  When I took over LPE, it was the lowest performing school in the district.  My goal was to make it to the top 3 elementary schools. We hit my goal. We have grown 16 points in three years and have every intention of continuing to grow.”

Beber received a bachelor’s in health and physical education from Nicholls State University, as well as a master’s in educational leadership. He is currently pursuing his doctorate of education in educational leader supervision.

High School Teacher of the Year

Nelann Taylor teaches Spanish I and II to 10th- through 12th-graders at West St. John High School. She previously taught Spanish at East St. John High School.

She serves as the Homecoming Committee Chair, a RAM Adviser, a member of the Instructional Leadership Team as a TAP Mentor and is on the PBIS Committee. She has kept the official score book for several years at basketball and baseball contests and has organized several events for athletics and academics. As the multimedia teacher in 2013, she helped create the first WSJH student newspaper, the Ramatory.

Taylor is the lead technology teacher at her school and maintains the school website and social media. She was named the 2017-18 Region 3 Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators. She has been chosen several years to be a presenter at LACUE’s annual conference, sharing her expertise with educators from around the state.

“As a teacher on our campus, Ms. Taylor is always willing to lead or assist in various tasks,” West St. John High School Principal Claude Hill said. “She assists teachers with technology, provides mentoring to teachers and students and leads professional developments, in addition to her teaching responsibilities.  She is recognized by students, parents and faculty as an educator who will help anyone in need. She cares deeply about improving our students and school and has a desire to help students improve both in the classroom and in life beyond high school.”

Taylor earned a bachelor’s in mass media arts, print journalism, and foreign language, Spanish concentration, from Clark Atlanta University. She is currently pursuing a master’s in art of teaching at Nicholls State University.

Middle School Teacher of the Year

Michel Delatte has been teaching English language arts for the past four years. Prior to that, she spent 14 years as a special education teacher.

Delatte is a TAP Mentor Teacher, helping other teachers to improve their instructional practices. She is a member of the PBIS team and Leadership Team at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary and also assists with Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School Student Council. She serves as a member of the Teacher Appreciation Committee, as well as a community outreach member for the school.

“Mrs. Delatte exudes excellence as a Mentor Teacher and ELA teacher,” Beber said. “She has high expectations, and her students rise to the occasion. She plans every lesson with the intent that her students will reach mastery. Her flexible classroom and love for the children make her one of our top teachers.”

She earned a bachelor’s of science from the University of Great Falls in Great Falls, Mont.

Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Elizabeth Alexander is in her second year of teaching math at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary. Prior to that, she was a first-grade teacher for four years.

She is a member of the PBIS Committee and Teacher Appreciation Committee. Alexander also serves on the school’s community outreach team and on the leadership team as a mentor.

“Mrs. Alexander is the type of teacher every principal wants on their campus,” Beber said. “She goes above and beyond to ensure her students get what they need, in and out of the classroom. She took over fifth-grade math last year and our scores have never been so high. She serves as a Mentor Teacher and our Lead Technology Teacher.”

Alexander earned a bachelor’s in general business from Southeastern Louisiana University and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Nicholls State University.