Jun 07, 2021

Lafourche Parish and Pointe Coupee Parish educators will spend year advocating for education initiatives

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education announced the winners of the annual Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship for the 2021-2022 school year. Bridget Berry of Pointe Coupee Parish and Trinette Wallace of Lafourche Parish were named this year’s honorees during last week’s 2021 Teacher Leader Summit. The fellowship program allows recipients to spend a school year advocating for an education initiative of their choosing.
Berry’s fellowship initiative is to develop and implement a virtual mentoring program for first year teachers across Pointe Coupee Parish Schools. The goal of her program is to provide the support, knowledge and guidance needed to help new teachers be successful.
Wallace’s fellowship initiative is to create an organization that will recruit and support minority educators into Louisiana public schools. Through its fellowship work, the organization will help attract more minorities to the teaching profession to help ensure the educator workforce is reflective of the population of students they serve.
“Our nation was built by people with the drive and courage to put their ideas into action. That’s what this award represents and that is what makes Bridget and Trinette such fitting honorees,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “Louisiana’s educators are valued professions and each of these initiatives will help ensure our children benefit from a diverse, highly effective workforce.”
The Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship allows recipients to spend the upcoming school year advocating for a key education initiative of their choosing. These initiatives are aligned to the Department’s priorities. Winners are chosen from the previous year’s list of Louisiana Teacher of the Year Finalists.
Bridget Berry is a 27-year educator and 2021 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Finalist. She presently serves as the 5th grade reading and English language arts teacher at STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee.She is a native of Vernon Parish and began her teaching career in 1994 in Vernon Parish teaching at Fort Polk, Louisiana. She later moved to Rapides Parish where she taught at Phoenix Magnet Elementary.After moving to Pointe Coupee, she taught at Rougon Elementary where she earned National Board Teacher Certification as a middle childhood generalist. In 2006, she transitioned into educational leadership roles in Pointe Coupee Parish as the assistant principal and principal of Valverda Elementary, then later as an instructional supervisor. In 2017, she made a personal decision to return to the classroom.She has been teaching at Stem Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee since then, serving as school building level committee chairperson as well as a mentor teacher. Berry earned a bachelor's degree in education from McNeese State University,and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northwestern State University.
Trinette Wallaceis a 15-year educator and 2021 Louisiana Middle School Teacher of the Year. She presently serves as a 6th grade ancient history teacher, but will be promoted to the master teacher position for the upcoming school year at West Thibodaux Middle in the Lafourche Parish School District. She is the daughter of a 33-year veteran educator who was hired as the first black administrator at a predominately white school in the Assumption Parish School District. Reared with a priority placed on education, Wallace excelled in academics. She received her bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and master’s degree from Southern University. While working as a physical therapist technician, Wallace was asked to substitute teach. Although teaching was not an initial want, she fell in love with the profession the moment she entered the classroom. Subsequently, Wallace enrolled in Nicholls State University’s Alternative Teacher Certification Program, ultimately obtaining 30 hours in educational leadership. In 2017, Wallace was selected as a Lafourche School District Curriculum Development Think Tank member for social studies. Successfully implementing Kagan Strategies and responsive classroom techniques, she shares her expertise with all stakeholders. Wallace has served as a supervising teacher for Nicholls State University since 2014 and as an LDOE Mentor Teacher in 2018.

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