POSTED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 6:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — This year, 72 outstanding educators throughout the East Baton Rouge Parish School System were named their individual school’s Teacher of the Year, 52 vied for one of three district 2013 Teacher of the Year awards and three of the best of the best walked away with the School System’s titles.
Sabrina Jenkins of Highland Elementary School, Corie Buras of Southeast Middle School and Ni’Shawn Stovall of Belaire High School are this year’s district winners (one at each level). In addition, this week the Louisiana Department of Education also announced Jenkins is one of eight regional Teachers of the Year finalists at the elementary school level.
The school nominees and district winners will be recognized at an East Baton Rouge Parish School Board reception at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, at the Instructional Resource Center on South Foster Drive.
Twenty-four teachers total were named regional finalists by the state at each of the three levels: elementary school, middle school and high school. These finalists and the 15 Regional Principal of the Year finalists will be honored during the Sixth Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration in July. One 2013 state winner each for teacher and principal categories at each of the three levels will be named at that time. EBRPSS also has two district principals who have been named Regional Principals of the Year: Shelly Colvin of Woodlawn Middle School and Nanette McCann of Baton Rouge Magnet High School.
“I am very pleased and honored as interim superintendent to congratulate our 2013 Teachers of the Year Awards finalists and our regional winner,” Carlos J. Sam said. “The teachers being recognized are among the best in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System and are a constant, shining example to children and fellow teachers alike. I am grateful for their service and for them always putting our students first.”
Principals and teachers are selected based on their leadership and teaching skills, respectively, as well as their dedication and respect of students, parents and colleagues; demonstrated school and community leadership; affiliations with educational organizations; ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities; and their commitment to their profession.
As both the district’s and a regional finalist Teacher of the Year winner, Jenkins has four years experience in teaching fifth-grade Math, Social Studies and Science. A student at Southeastern Louisiana State University, where she is earning a master’s in Education Leadership, and a graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU), where she earned a bachelor’s of Political Science, she has been at Highland Elementary School her entire educational career. She received the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award in 2010.
At Highland Elementary School, Jenkins started the school’s first parent organization, Parents on a Mission. In the 2009-2010 school year, her students exceeded the district average in all content areas and the state average in ELA and Math. In fact, 2011 marked the second consecutive year her students surpassed the district average in the percentage of students to score basic or above in all content areas and beyond the state average in Math and Science.
“Teaching has always been my passion,” Jenkins said. “I will never forget my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. McGee, (who) accepted nothing less than the best from each of us in her classroom. She influenced me to want to become a ‘Mrs. McGee’ to someone else. I believe that as a teacher, I am currently fulfilling my purpose. It now remains my priority to lead each one of my students closer to achieving their goals in life.”
Buras teaches eighth-grade Social Studies at Southeast Middle School, where she has been for five of her seven years in teaching. She holds a bachelor’s in Secondary Education: Social Studies from LSU, a master’s in Educational Technology from Boise State University and is studying Educational Leadership currently at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Buras received National Board Certification in 2009 and was the Louisiana Council for Social Studies’ Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year for the parish in 2009.
Stovall is a ninth-grade Math teacher at Belaire High School, where she has spent three years of her career, having taught at Istrouma High School previously. At Istrouma, she was the school’s 2008 Teacher of the Year nominee. She has a bachelor’s in Secondary Education: Math from Southern University A&M College and is pursuing a master’s in Natural Science at LSU. Stovall is the school’s Ninth-Grade Freshman Academy coordinator and was selected for the Teachers and Engineers for the Advancement of Math and Science Partnership.