Award Programs



Teacher and Principal of the Year Programs

Nathalie Roy
Annelise Cassar Tedesco,
2022 Louisiana State
Teacher of the Year

Twitter: @AnneliseCassar

Marco French
Marco French,
2022 Louisiana State
Principal of the Year

Twitter: @mdfrench01

Meet the 2023 Teacher and Principal of the Year semifinalists.


THE DEPARTMENT NAMES THE 2023 TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALISTS

The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that great teachers and school leaders are critical to student success. Annually, the Department, in partnership with Dream Teachers and the Louisiana Association of Principals, recognizes and celebrates some of the state’s most exceptional educators through the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs. These programs provide an opportunity to acknowledge those teachers and leaders who are making exceptional gains with students. Their commitment to student success exemplifies Louisiana’s education profession.

This year, school systems from all across the state submitted nominations to the state-level Teacher and Principal of the Year process. From this impressive group, the Department is proud to announce the 2023 Teacher and Principal of the Year Semifinalists.

All Teacher and Principal of the Year Semifinalists will be honored at the 16th Annual Excellent Educators Awards Gala that will be held at the World War II Museum in New Orleans on the evening of July 30, 2022. This exciting event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers.

To learn more about the current and previous Teacher and Principal of the Year honorees, visit the library.

For questions about the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs, email excellenteducators@la.gov.

Teacher and Principal of the Year Library


Calling all Excellent New Educators

Announcing the 2023 New Teacher of the Year Finalists

The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that great teachers and school leaders are critical to student success. Annually, the Department honors the state’s most exceptional educators through the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs. These programs provide an opportunity to acknowledge educators who are achieving excellence. This year, the Louisiana Department of Education, in partnership with Dream Teachers, is launching the New Teacher Of the Year program which will recognize and celebrate some of the state’s most exceptional new educators.

This program provides an opportunity to acknowledge those new teachers who are already demonstrating excellence in the classroom and their commitment to student success that exemplifies Louisiana’s teaching profession. This addition to the already-existing Teacher and Principal of the Year programs will recognize the outstanding contributions of a first-year classroom teacher.

New Teacher of the Year - Less than one year of full time teaching experience

More details regarding the selection process and timeline for school systems can be found in the award program library.


For further information please contact Laurie.Carlton@la.gov.



CALLING ALL EXCELLENT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS AND LEADERS

The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that great teachers and leaders are critical to the development of our children. For the first time in our state’s history, the Department, in partnership with Dream Teachers, will recognize and celebrate some of Louisiana’s most exceptional early childhood educators through the Early Childhood Teacher and Leader of the Year program. These programs provide an opportunity to acknowledge those teachers and leaders who are exceptional representatives of a critical profession. It is time that these dedicated educators are recognized for their contribution to the lives of our state’s children and their future success in school and life.

The Department is now searching for the inaugural Early Childhood Teacher and Leader of the Year honorees. An early childhood education Teacher or Leader of the Year serves any birth-five year old economically-disadvantaged children, children who are in publicly-funded programs, children who have disabilities, and/or children who are experiencing homelessness, by working in a Type III child care center, an Early Head Start or Head Start Center, or in a Family Child Care site participating in the LDOE Family Child Care (FCC) Pilot.

Early Childhood Teacher and Leader of the Year


Part of the selection process for naming the winners includes recommendations from fellow teachers, site leaders or directors, lead agency employees, parents, colleagues, and community members. If you know an outstanding teacher or leader, please check back on this page for updates on how to support these excellent educators in the application process.

The application materials will go live on Tuesday, October 12.

To learn more about the current and previous Teacher and Principal of the Year honorees from PreK-12, visit the library.

The application materials for the 2021-2022 academic year will be uploaded to the website on October 12. Multiple opportunities via Zoom for informational sessions, technical assistance, and questions will be posted to this page as well. Informational sessions will be held on October 20 from 2-3 p.m. and October 21 from 10-11 a.m. on Zoom. Teachers, leaders, lead agency staff, Ready Start Network leaders, CCR&R staff and coaches, and any other interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend any and all sessions. 

October 20 Webinar - Teacher of the Year Informational Session (Optional)

October 21 Webinar - Teacher of the Year Informational Session (Optional)

For questions about the Early Childhood Teacher and Leader of the Year programs, email devon.camarota@la.gov.

THE DEPARTMENT NAMES THE 2022 LOUISIANA EXEMPLARY EDUCATORS

The Louisiana Departmentof Education recognizes that great teachers and school leaders are critical to student success. Therefore, the Louisiana Exemplary Educator Recognition Program was created to acknowledge, honor, and spotlight exceptional teachers, teacher specialists, and school leaders who exemplify Louisiana’s education profession. 

This year, school systems from all across the state submitted recommendations for the 2022 Louisiana Exemplary Educator Recognition Program through a confidential process where the candidates were unaware of their recommendation. From this impressive group, the Department is proud to announce the 2022 Louisiana Exemplary Educators.

In acknowledgement of being named an Exemplary Educator, these individuals will receive a certificate of recognition and may be invited to participate on Louisiana Department of Education advisory boards and task forces, as well as be considered for other recognition programs. 

Congratulations to these exemplary educators!

Exemplary Educator Recognition Program


For more information regarding the Louisiana Exemplary Educator Recognition Program, visit the resources library. For questions, email ExemplaryEducator@la.gov.






Louisiana Models of Excellence

The Louisiana Models of Excellence initiative was created in an effort to acknowledge, honor, and spotlight schools and school systems serving as exemplary models for implementing the Department’s Believe to Achieve educational priorities that leads to the advancement of student success. This initiative has three main goals.

  • To celebrate excellence in Louisiana schools
  • To share stories of success and provide models for others to see
  • To create high-impact partnerships across school system
Click on the Louisiana Models of Excellence recipients below to learn about their exemplary initiatives. 

Phillis Wheatley Community Schools (FirstLine Schools)
Phillis Wheatley Community School’s leadership team and staff are improving literacy outcomes through dedicating an instructional coach to literacy, tracking student data, and a commitment to professional growth through their Early Literacy initiative. Learn more about the Early Literacy initiative.

East Feliciana Public Schools
East Feliciana Public Schools is committed to accelerating learning recovery by providing students with additional opportunities for learning and growing through the summer months. Their summer learning program, EF Accelerate, focused on providing deeply engaging experiences, strong academics, and a balance of enrichment activities and field trips. Learn more about EF Accelerate.

Rapides Parish Schools
Rapides Parish Schools is guiding young people on a path to becoming accomplished teachers through a district level strategy for implementing a pre-educator pathway, collaborating with a university to offer dual enrollment classes and providing clinical experiences for future educators. Learn more about their Pre-Educator Pathway.

Mansfield Elementary School (DeSoto Parish)
Mansfield Elementary School is making great gains in literacy with their initiative for literacy interventions, Strategic Literacy Focus. Along with incorporating a "Whatever I Need (WIN)" literacy program, the leadership team and staff ensure all students receive intervention and extensions based on individual student needs. Learn more about Strategic Literacy Focus.

Questions regarding the Louisiana Models of Excellence may be directed to modelsofexcellence@la.gov


Students of the Year Awards Program

Students of the Year Logo

2022 Students of the Year Announced

The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that many outstanding students are enrolled in public, private, or charter schools throughout the state of Louisiana. To acknowledge these accomplishments, the Department, in conjunction with the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, annually honors one incredible fifth, eighth, and twelfth grade student based on their leadership, academic performance, achievements, citizenship, and service to the school and community.

Students are selected by their school and submitted to the school system/diocese level; these nominees are then forwarded to a Regional Selection Committee. The resulting twenty-one finalists then compete at the state level. The winners of the three grade levels are announced on the evening of the final day of competition.

Students of the Year Materials


Purple Star School Award Program

This award will show recognition to schools that show a major commitment to serving students and families connected to the United States Armed Forces.

To earn the recognition, schools shall engage in the following activities:

  • Designate a staff member to serve as a military liaison and engage in the following: 
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for military connected students and families
  • Work to identify special considerations needed by military-connected students and families
  • Develop training to inform teachers and other school personnel of those special considerations
  • Create a dedicated page on its website featuring resources for military-connected students and families
  • Create a student-led transition program to provide peer support for military-connected students
Purple Star School Badge
The school system shall engage in the following:
  • Adopt a resolution stating the commitment to support military-connected students and families 
  • Assign a central office staff member to be the contact for the school-based liaison and military-connected students and families

School systems who meet the above criteria should complete the Purple Star School Award form (link to form is coming soon). Schools that earn the designation will be provided a certificate, a digital badge, and a digital badge will be added to the school's page on Louisiana School Finder.

For additional information please contact highschoolacademics@la.gov.


US Senate Youth Program

Two Louisiana juniors or seniors will be chosen to attend the 60th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program either in Washington D.C. or online during the week of March 5-12, 2022. Upon completion of all on-site events or online meetings, these two delegates will each receive a $10,000 education scholarship. Juniors or seniors may qualify to apply through leadership positions they hold during the 2021-2022 school year per the USSYP official criteria for the current academic school year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed. Students nominated by their principals must submit an application and a portfolio of required information to the Louisiana Department of Education by Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

Please read the National Brochure and Louisiana application packet for more information including eligibility requirements and the application process. State finalists will be notified by October 29, and delegates and alternates will be announced by the Hearst Foundation in January.


U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school students selected on the basis of outstanding scholarship. This is a recognition program, not a scholarship program. The 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars and receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion.

School systems can submit, for consideration, up to two students in the General Component and up to two students in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Component. Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students may not apply individually to the program or be nominated by a school system. Only the Chief State School Office or YoungArts™ can submit nominations to the USDOE. 

In order to recommend students for nomination to the program, school systems are required to submit to the LDOE a parental release form for each nominated student and a nomination letter for each nominated student not to exceed one page for each student. The nomination letter must be sent on school or school system letterhead and signed by the school system leader. Full instructions may be found in the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar Program Information Guide.

Nomination letters are due to LDOE by 4 p.m. November 19, 2021. School systems should submit nominations to jumpstart@la.gov using the subject line: U.S. Presidential Scholar Program. Submissions that do not include the completed parental release form will not be accepted. It is recommended that school systems review the LDOE evaluation rubric prior to nominating students.

Please contact erica.spencer@la.gov with questions.