BPSTIL Principal Jayda Spillers walks through one of the workshops at her school with Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

It didn’t take long for Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser to see that BPSTIL is a special place.

Nungesser had only heard about Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning, but he had to see for himself what all the talk was about. He spent more than an hour getting a personal tour from Principal Jayda Spillers.

“This place blew me away,” Nungesser said following the tour. “It’s an incredible first class learning institute. This is a shining light for Louisiana and the country. I’m in awe of this facility and what they are doing for our students. Everyone should come see this place.”

At BPSTIL, students learn how to combine academic skills learned in the classroom with practical experience in shop/lab settings. Many students are dually enrolled with the Louisiana Technical College (LTC) and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), which allows them to earn college credit toward a technical diploma or an associate degree while still in high school. The majority of classes available at BPSTIL offer an Industry Based Certification. Industry Based Certifications empower students to gain meaningful part-time or full-time employment immediately upon graduation. Advisory boards from the business community assist in directing curriculum to meet the state and local employment needs.

BPSTIL has been a shining gem in Bossier since it opened in 2015. This project allowed Bossier Schools to expand course offerings in the Department of Education’s Career Clusters, giving high school students the opportunity to explore various fields of interest as well as accrue college credit and industry certifications.

“I can promise you this, the kids that leave this facility will get the best of the best jobs available in their field,” Nungesser said. “I’m so proud of everyone here and what they’re doing for Louisiana.”

The first stop on his tour was Culinary Arts, where students had just baked muffins and brewed coffee to get the morning started on a sweet note. The lieutenant governor then checked out the carpentry program, welding, graphic arts, law studies, sports medicine and more.

 Needless to say, he was most impressed; so much so that Nungesser discussed ways to get some of the various programs involved in promoting the state, which is his focus.

“I’m going to encourage every leader in the state and other school boards to see what a model this is,” he said. “We should embrace everything we can do to support and add to what they’ve done here. I look forward to being a partner in that.”

But it wasn’t just the academic offerings that caught Nungesser’s attention. It was something much deeper that impressed him.

“The passion of the teachers and administrators…You can see it…from the people cleaning the floors to the teachers in the classroom, they have a love and passion for doing everything they can to educate these kids,” he said.

Principal Jayda Spillers is very passionate about her job and she’s certainly proud of her school.

“This was a phenomenal experience for us,” she said. “It’s always a pleasure to show our school to those in our community and education stakeholders. We want to get bigger and better in our industry.”

Want to see what all the talk is about at BPSTIL? The public is invited to an open house Thursday, Jan. 18.

Parents and the public are invited to see what is behind the doors at Bossier Parish  School for Technology and Innovative Learning. Tours will be given and you will have the chance to learn from teachers about the programs offered, which range from graphic arts, carpentry and welding to law studies, television production and culinary arts.

The open house will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. BPSTIL is located at 1020 Innovation Drive in Bossier City.

By Amanda Simmons