Locals honor Bossier schools employees for ‘Helping Hearts’

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For going the extra mile to care for and keep Bossier Parish students engaged and connected during COVID-19, five employees at Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning (BPSTIL) were awarded the first “Helping Hearts” award Monday.

BPSTIL Principal Jayda Spillers nominated Mark Monroe, Charles Adams, Dillan Lotto, Kris Chenier and Mike Washburn for quickly “re-tooling” hands-on courses in collision repair, carpentry and welding into online learning for students wanting to continue working toward earning their certifications.

When nominating Monroe, Adams, Lotto, Chenier and Washburn, Spillers wrote, “I am just overwhelmed with how all of the BPSTIL CTE (Career and Technical Education) teachers are overcoming this immense challenge in their fields and stepping up to that challenge. Instead of throwing their hands up in the air and saying ‘Oh well, nothing can be done,’ they have been so dedicated to making sure students can keep working toward certifications and staying on top of employment opportunities.” 

After receiving the “Helping Hearts” award. Adams said, “It feels good to be recognized for what we do. It feels real good.”

Central Park Elementary EL teacher, Jennifer Gulett, was another recipient of the “Helping Hearts” award. 

Knowing there are families with tremendous needs at Central Park Elementary. Gulett has made sure those families have been getting meals. She has also made sure those families have basic items. Such as diapers, toilet paper, etc. 

To help with those basic items, she has personally reached out to her church, other churches and even into her own pocket. 

“I just love this school, and I love these students,’ Gulett said. “This was kind of a way for me to see my kids during this time. But as I dug deeper I realized how much these kids are in need. God has just showed up in big, big, big huge ways.” 

Advance Awards and Gifts and Bossier Federal Credit Union sponsored the “Helping Hearts” award.