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Bossier Schools recognizes the best of the best with Celebration of Excellence

Mitch Downey recognized the 2018-19 Principals of the Year at Bossier Schools Celebration of Excellence April 30. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Bossier Schools Celebration of Excellence Tuesday night recognized the best of the best in academics, performance, work ethic and leadership. 

The event saw Bossier Schools honor its 2018-19 Students of the Year, district Teachers of the Year representatives, Principals and Outstanding School Support Personnel winners at the 4th annual banquet yesterday at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bossier City.

The recognition ceremony held a well deserved and special surprise for W.T. Lewis Elementary principal Lisa Burns, who was named the “Innovator of the Year” by Superintendent Mitch Downey. 

“This means a lot to me. I wish my mom was here, because my heart as an educator is her heart. My mom was an educator, she was an High school English teacher. She absolutely loved what she did, she loved children and that’s where I get it from,” Burns said. “I owe it to her. She was the best example of what a great educator is.” 

Burns has served as an educator for 22 years at Bossier Schools. Her teaching career began at Stockwell Place Elementary and after 11 years in the classroom, took an administrative turn. Burns was named assistant principal at W.T. Lewis in 2008 and was named Principal five years later. 

Citizens National Bank President/CEO Jason Smith recognizes the Bossier Schools Students of the Year at the Bossier Parish Schools Celebration of Excellence Tuesday night. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Furthermore, Burns was also recently named a semi-finalist for Louisiana Principal of the Year.

“This is what God called me to do and I absolutely love to do it,” she added.

Citizens National Bank has been the sole sponsor every year the Celebration of Excellence banquet has been held. President/CEO Jason Smith said the bank is honored to be celebrate and invest in the finest in Bossier Parish Schools.

“This is a incredible honor. Citizens National Bank loves to be associated with the Bossier School system and in particular, we love to be associated with excellence,” Smith said.

Musical entertainment during the banquet was provided by the the Benton High Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of band director Evan McCormick.

Listed below are names of everyone who was recognized during yesterday evening’s banquet:

2018/2019 Students of the Year

Fifth Grade

  • Fisher Erikson, Apollo
  • Emerson Fite, Benton Elementary
  • Teyla Mulleneaux, Bossier Elementary
  • Jaya Huewitt, Central Park
  • Mallory Adams, Curtis
  • Ben Ruliffson, Elm Grove Elementary
  • Clayton Zahm, Haughton Elementary
  • Charlie Valentine, Kingston
  • Claire Allen, Legacy
  • Jayzah Wallace, Meadowview
  • Kaiden Gomez, Plantation Park
  • Evan Myers, Princeton
  • Juan Rivera, R.V. Kerr
  • Alaina Byrd, Carrie Martin at Plain Dealing
  • Tristan Farr, Stockwell Place
  • Taylor Henry, W.T. Lewis
  • Morgan Robinson, Waller

Eight Grade

  • Caroline Moore, Benton Middle
  • Reagan Favor, Cope
  • Elijah Harper, Elm Grove Middle
  • McKinley Brooks, Greenacres
  • Lowrey Lain, Haughton Middle
  • Riley Rousseau, Plain Dealing
  • Own Frans, T.O. Rusheon

Twelfth Grade

  • Spencer Favor, Airline
  • Katie Bowlin, Benton High
  • Micah Robinson, Bossier High
  • Makenzie Wolfe, Haughton High
  • Katie Black, Parkway
  • Noah Lambka, Plain Dealing

Bossier Parish Students of the Year

  • Taylor Henry, W.T. Lewis Elementary
  • Caroline Moore, Benton Middle
  • Katie Bowlin, Benton High

District Outstanding School Support Personnel of the Year

  • Dana McAlister, Waller Elementary
  • Kristy Kempf, Greenacres Middle
  • Aaron Finimore, Airline High

District Teachers of the Year

  • Brooke West, Waller Elementary
  • Spencer Kiper, Elm Grove Middle (2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year)
  • Chyrissee Moore, Benton High

Principals of the Year

  • Lisa Burns, W.T. Lewis Elementary (Semi-Finalist, State Principal of the Year)
  • Dr. Kyle Machen, Benton Middle
  • Jason Rowland, Airline High
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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.