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Bossier’s Students of the Year

Three students will represent Bossier among state’s finest

The Bossier School System has named three students that will represent Bossier Parish among the state’s best students.

These three young ladies were selected for going the extra mile, exceeding expectations and striving to excel at everything they do.

Student of the Year is an annual competition held state-wide. The parish winners will now advance to the regional competition, held in Caddo Parish this year.

If they win at that level, they advance to the state competition in Baton Rouge. So sit back, relax and get to know your Bossier Parish Students of the Year.


Elementary School Student of the Year

Reily Hooper never expected her fifth grade year to be full of surprises.

The first came when she was named Princeton Elementary’s student of the year.

“I told myself that everyone was a winner no matter what,” Reily said. “I was speechless when they said my name because I knew all of the fifth graders here had the potential to get it.”

A few weeks later, Reily was surprised again with a visit from Superintendent D.C. Machen, who she had never met before. He stopped by her school to share the news that she had been chosen to represent the parish Elementary Student of the Year winner.

“It’s a big honor,” she said. “Not everybody gets to do this. I was honored just to be a school finalist.”

Now that she’s headed to the regional finals, Reily said she wants to encourage others to do their best.

“I’m not I’ll get it, but I’m not saying I won’t get it. Anybody has that potential if they be the best they can be,” she said. “All you have to do is try hard and do your best in school. There’s a very, very good possibility you could get it too.”

Reily is the daughter of Kari and Trey Allen and Lynn and Joel Hooper. Along with being a Princeton Elementary cheerleader, Reily loves studying history, swimming on a summer swim team and volunteering with her youth group at First Baptist Bossier.

She extended a special thank you to her mom, math teacher, Vickie Ramsey, and principal, Nancy Doerner, for their support and help this school year.


Middle School Student of the Year

Shelby Newman knows what it feels like to be the best. The Elm Grove eighth grader is a two time student of the year recipient, representing Curtis Elementary as a fifth grader.

Despite her previous achievement, Shelby said she didn’t know what would happen when she was named a school finalist.

“Whatever happened I was ok with it,” she added.

Then, Superintendent D.C. Machen walked into her classroom and announced that she was chosen as the middle school student of the year. Shelby said everything has been “a happy blur” since that moment.

“It’s a great honor for the parish has recognized me as the one student to represent all of the middle schools,” she said.

Shelby is a member of the Elm Grove Liberty Line (dance line), Lady Eagles softball team, student council, youth legislature and science club. She also plays softball with the Bossier Little League and volunteers with her church youth group at Bellaire Baptist Church.

Shelby said volunteering is something she enjoys most because it’s “really fun and eye opening.”

Now that she’s moving on to the regional finals next month, Shelby said she’s going to do her best to be an example of what Bossier Parish students represent.

“Student of the Year is a role model for their peers and I want to set a good example for this area,” she said. “If I wouldn’t want my friends doing something, I’m certainly not doing it either.”

Shelby is the daughter of Eric and Tiffany Newman. She extended a special thanks to her family, school and Jesus Christ for their continued support.


High School Student of the Year

Airline senior Lauren Haigler had no idea what was going on when a “huge crowd of people” showed up at her first block class one morning.

If seeing Superintendent D.C. Machen wasn’t a giveaway that something was up, her parents sure did.

“It caught me off guard,” Lauren said. “It was a good surprise, but definitely one I wasn’t expecting.”

Although she’s honored to represent Bossier Parish, Lauren said it’s an honor to continue the tradition of excellence at Airline High School.

“Being named the student of the year for my school is the biggest honor because I knew the other candidates and I know the excellence they have,” she said. “I didn’t even have this in mind for my senior year. I’ve been more focused on living in the moment and doing that with excellence. This is just the cherry on top.”

Lauren said the process to becoming the parish winner wasn’t very easy.

“I love to write so the essay was the relaxing part,” she said. “The interview with the judging panel was a little intense, but they made it personable and comfortable for me.”

She credits her Christian faith for getting her through it and will rely on faith again during the regional judging next month.

“All the glory goes to God though. He took care of the nerves going into this and he will see me through the next step,” she added.

Lauren is involved with several school organizations, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Beta Club, National Honor Society and First Priority. In her spare time, she likes art, reading, writing on inspirational blog, teaching preschool ministry at The Simple Church and dancing with Theatre School of Dance in Bossier City.

In the future, Lauren hopes to attend either Northwestern State University in Natchitoches or the University of Louisiana at Monroe to pursue a degree in English with a minor in dance.

“Dancing is a release for me. It’s my time to express emotions freely and portray a different character, even for a small amount of time,” she said. “it’s intriguing and fun.”

Lauren said she will be happy with whatever God has planned for her next.

“If I do progress past [regionals], that would be thrilling, but I’m satisfied either way,” she added.

Lauren is the daughter of John and Theresa Haigler. She extended a special thanks to her family, teachers and Jesus Christ for their support.

“I have many wonderful influences in my life and that definitely helps,” she said.


Student of the Year sponsor Citizens National Bank will award Reily, Shelby and Lauren each an iPad, an iTunes gift card along with other prizes. The Students of the Year Awards Program is sponsored by the Louisiana State Superintendent through the State Department of Education and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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