Local educator Barry Carter has been selected a Louisiana Principal of the Year. The selection was revealed during the annual gala recognizing education excellence. The gala was held in Baton Rouge. Carter is the Principal at North DeSoto Middle School.
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) celebrated some of the state’s most outstanding teachers and leaders tonight at the 17th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala. Produced in partnership with Dream Teachers, this event was highlighted by the announcement of the Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year, Louisiana Early Childhood Teacher and Leader of the Year, and Louisiana New Teacher of the Year.
2024 Overall State Honorees:
Louisiana Teacher of the Year: Kylie Altier | East Baton Rouge Parish Schools
Louisiana Principal of the Year: Tia Mechelle Trahan | Lafayette Parish
Louisiana Early Childhood Teacher of the Year: Phedra Jackson | Lafourche Parish
Louisiana Early Childhood Leader of the Year: Arielle Hughes | Jefferson Parish
Louisiana New Teacher of the Year: Phoenix Morel LeBlanc | Livingston Parish Public Schools
“Tonight we celebrate the remarkable dedication and unwavering commitment of Louisiana’s finest teachers and leaders,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “Their resilience, passion, and tireless efforts have transformed lives and paved the way for our Louisiana comeback.”
Louisiana Teacher of the Year
Kylie Altier is the overall Louisiana Teacher of the Year. Altier teaches first grade at Buchanan Elementary in East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. She has won over $13,000 in grants to enrich the educational experiences of students and the whole school community. Altier brought life to a garden focused on agriculture, created a mobile kitchen where students cook fresh vegetables they harvest, and designed a curriculum employing virtual reality headsets to boost experiential learning.
The following educators were named division-level Louisiana Teacher of the Year
Elementary: Sandra Saye-Foucqueteau | Zachary Community School District
Middle: Cory Joy Craig | Bossier Parish Schools
High: Dennis “DJ” Pevey | Tangipahoa Parish School System
Louisiana Principal of the Year
Tia Mechelle Trahan is the overall Louisiana Principal of the Year. Trahan leads Lafayette Middle in the Lafayette Parish School System. A National Board Certified Teacher, she was the Lafayette Parish School System Teacher of the Year in 2007. Trahan was part of the first cohort of Louisiana leaders to complete the National Institute for School Leaders.
The following educators were named division-level Louisiana Principal of the Year
Elementary: Dr. Monya Thomas-Criddle | Jefferson Parish Schools
Middle: Barry Carter | DeSoto Parish Schools
High: Marvin Evans | Ascension Public Schools
Louisiana Early Childhood Teacher of the Year
Phedra Jackson is the overall Louisiana Early Childhood Teacher of the Year. Jackson teaches at Lafourche Head Start in Lafourche Parish. Jackson has more than 10 years of experience working and serving children and families in Louisiana.
Louisiana Early Childhood Leader of the Year
Arielle Hughes is the overall Louisiana Early Childhood Leader of the Year. Hughes leads Carousel Preschool in Jefferson Parish. Hughes has over 10 years of combined experience in both leading and teaching in Early Learning centers.
Louisiana New Teacher of the Year
Phoenix Morel LeBlanc is the overall Louisiana New Teacher of the Year. LeBlanc teaches at Albany Middle in the Livingston Parish Public School System. Recognizing excellence during the first year in the classroom, this is the second year of this awards program.
The 17th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Awards Gala was held at the World War II Museum in New Orleans. During the event, the Department announced the 2024 State Elementary, Middle, and High School Teacher and Principal of the Year honorees, the 2024 New Teacher of the Year, the 2024 Early Childhood Leader and Teacher of the Year.