Mar 04, 2020

Selection Criteria Updated to Evaluate Career and Technical Education Achievements

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Education today released the names of 21 students selected as regional finalists in the state's annual Students of the Year competition. The 21 students selected include one 5th, 8th and 12th grader from each of the state's seven regions and represent public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools across Louisiana. 


This year, for the first time, not only are students being evaluated on their academic success, leadership skills, and character, but also their career and technical education achievements.


"These 21 regional finalists are among the top students in Louisiana," said State Superintendent John White, "and we are proud of their commitment to learning and leadership."


He continued: "We are also proud to, for the first time, add a career and technical education supervisor to our selection panel and to update the selection criteria to include career-focused credentials and coursework to ensure all students, regardless of whether they are bound for college or career after graduation, are considered for the prize."


The annual competition has multiple steps. First, all public schools and non-public schools are asked to submit one candidate from their student body. Students then compete with their peers at the school system level, and winners advance to the regional competitions.


At the regional level, students are selected based on criteria that measure academic success, career and technical achievements, leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and communities. Regional selection committees also use student-made portfolios of accomplishments, along with student writing samples and interviews, to assess the communications and critical-thinking skills of each candidate.


Prior to selecting the three overall state winners, a state selection committee made up of K-12, higher education and community leaders also reviews the students' portfolios and writing samples and conducts interviews with them. 


This year's finalists, by grade, include:


Grade 5:

Ellah Sanzalone, A. C. Steere Elementary School, Caddo Parish

Case Abrams, Columbia Elementary School, Caldwell Parish

Vivian Furman, Grand Lake High School, Cameron Parish

Piper Cangelosi, LSU Laboratory School, Louisiana State University

Isabella Held, Joseph J. Davies Elementary School, St. Bernard Parish

Jonah Waguespack, St. Genevieve Catholic Elementary, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Sierra Lester, Delhi Charter School, Delhi Charter Management Organization 


Grade 8:

Zachary Cryer, Benton Middle School, Bossier Parish

Emily Boudreaux, East Ouachita Middle School, Ouachita Parish

Ava Grace Fruge', Kinder Middle School, Allen Parish

Reese Kennedy, Denham Springs Junior High School, Livingston Parish

Trenton Mitchell, Harry Hurst Middle School, St. Charles Parish

Madelyn Grace Wilson, Saint George Catholic School, Diocese of Baton Rouge

Nikki Leali, Lusher Elementary, Advocates for Arts-Base Education Corporation


Grade 12:

Antavion Moore, Ringgold High School, Bienville Parish

John-Garrett Patrick, Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science, & Technology, Concordia Parish

William Romero, Lafayette High School, Lafayette Parish

Bridget Seghers, Covington High School, St. Tammany Parish

Kevin Kim, Haynes Academy of Science and Technology, Jefferson Parish

Anna Claire Blanchard, St. Joseph's Academy, Diocese of Baton Rouge

Allison Lee, Benjamin Franklin High School, Advocates for Academic Excellence in Education

The finalists will convene at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge on April 1 for an awards ceremony and the announcement of the state Students of the Year winners from each grade level.

#  #  #  #  #  #