Northwestern State to hold fall commencement Dec. 18

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NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will hold its fall commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Prather Coliseum.

The morning ceremony will honor graduates from the Louisiana Scholars’ College, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development. Graduates from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology will be recognized at the afternoon ceremony.
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Nicole Vasquez, a teacher at Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, will be the speaker at both ceremonies.

Vasquez was the 2016 State High School Teacher of the Year. She provides instruction in ninth and 10th grade English and 11th and 12th grade liberal arts which covers philosophy and multicultural perspectives. Vasquez has taught general, enriched, honors and gifted phases. For the past three years, she has taught summer school classes in English, social studies and English language arts for grades eight through 12.

At Captain Shreve, Vasquez serves as co-sponsor for Z-Club, a service organization with more than a hundred girls in grades 10 – 12. She has been Youth and Government co-sponsor and Drama Club sponsor. Vasquez has performed a variety of volunteer roles working at club fundraisers and other extracurricular activities.

Vasquez is a 2007 graduate of Northwestern State, earning a bachelor’s in secondary education. She obtained a master’s in special education, gifted, in 2010 from NSU and a certification in secondary social studies from Northwestern State in 2011. Vasquez is a 2003 graduate of Leesville High School.

In 2007 and 2012, Vasquez developed and organized information for SACS accreditation. Currently, she is a member of the High School Graduation Task Force, working with the director of high schools and other high school teachers to increase graduation rates and options for graduates such as field-based certifications.