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Lafayette Parish School System Announces Teacher of the Year with Surprise Visit to Schools

Lafayette Parish School System’s Interim Superintendent Irma Trosclair and administrators visited district schools yesterday to formally announce the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year honorees for elementary, middle, and high schools. In hand with flowers and balloons, administrators surprised each teacher with the announcement that they were selected as the Teacher of the Year for Lafayette Parish School System.

Recipients include:
- Elementary School: Katherine Geiger, kindergarten teacher at Martial Billeaud Elementary School
- Middle School: Elizabeth Grossie, math teacher at Broussard Middle School
- High School: Pamela Sorensson, 10th grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Carencro High School

This is a high honor for outstanding teachers who have been selected by their peers and evaluated by district administrators and community leaders. Every year, educators and administrators in each public school in Lafayette Parish vote to select a “Teacher of the Year” based on nominations. The winner of each school then is eligible to participate in the district competition.

The district utilizes the comprehensive application provided by the Louisiana Department of Education that includes submitting a teaching video, a lesson plan which corresponds to the teaching video, student learning targets, and letters of recommendation in order to fully showcase the talents of each teacher. A rubric is utilized to score the applications and top contenders are interviewed by a committee of community leaders in order to select the district winner at each grade level. District winners complete in the state competition through the Louisiana Department of Education. Winners at the state level move on to the national competition.

The Lafayette Parish School System would like to thank each teacher who was nominated and submitted their comprehensive application to be considered for the district competition and Randy Bernard and his staff for the rubrics and scoring.
About LPSS Teacher of the Year Winners

Elementary School

Ms. Geiger has been teaching for 19 years and is currently a kindergarten teacher at Martial Billeaud Elementary. She is passionate about creating independent, problem-solving learners. She loves instilling a love of reading and writing in her students, as well as providing opportunities to link hands-on mathematics to real-work scenarios. She is often a child’s first teacher, so she always strives to build a positive foundation for learning.

She has very high expectations for her students, but higher expectations of herself. Every single child is precious and valued member of her classroom, no matter their background or ability level.

Middle School

Ms. Grossie has been teaching for 7 years and is currently a math teacher at Broussard Middle School. She always holds the highest expectations for any student. She strongly believes that all students can learn and possess infinite potential. She believes it is her job as an educator to tap into their potential and help maximize their optimal academic and social levels.

Ms. Grossie believes the most crucial element in student success is based on the relationship between the child and the teacher.

In her class she has peer tutors that aid groups or individuals when needed. She also has a teacher assistant that helps navigate the management of the classroom and instruction, for the best learning possible.

High School

Ms. Sorensson has been teaching for 6 years and is a 10th grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Carencro High. At the beginning of each school year, Ms. Sorensson is faced with at least 160 new faces and names. She works to identify students who may believe that they are at a disadvantage based on socio-economic status or challenging home environments. She is battling a stigma - one that has convinced students that college isn’t really for them, that reading is outdated, that homework is for kids who don’t have to work after school, and that making good grades is only important if you plan on graduating.

Her high school students are treated as young adults, who are held responsible for their actions so that they may foster leadership and character development. She does not expect less of her students academically or behaviorally because of where they came from, because of what their previous test score reads, or because of any label that they were given.