Saturday, May 18, 2024

Suzan Doherty Has A Heart Of Gold And Star To Match

by BPT Staff
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By Sonja Bailes | Bossier Parish Schools

For as long as she can remember, Suzan Doherty has always loved school and had an insatiable love for learning. 

“My grandmother would buy school books and workbooks at thrift stores. She even had a giant green slate chalkboard and school desks,” Doherty reflected. “I would spend the entire summer playing ‘school’ at her house.” 

Fast forward to the present and Doherty has come full circle as a Special Education (SPED) Coordinator at Bossier Schools and it is evident she loves what she does. 

“I would describe myself as a helper and being a Special Education Coordinator is the ultimate helper position,” Doherty said. “I am blessed to be able to help others navigate the complex arena of the SPED world. I have made it my personal goal to help every student learn and grow based on their needs and abilities.” 

Doherty is a friendly face the faculty at Benton High, Benton Intermediate, Benton Middle and Kingston Elementary look forward to seeing. While her primary responsibilities include planning short and long-term special services for children with exceptional needs, ensuring documentation is completed, and providing training and technical assistance to SPED teachers and staff, Doherty does so much more.  

“She does things that she does not have to do in her job description,” Pamela McDonald said. “She wants to help where she can. She knows my students and where they are so that when I have questions she is able to help me easily. She also comes in and interacts with my students almost daily. When she comes in to check on me they know who she is. She definitely does not have to do that.” 

Many others also praise Doherty for being a great encouragement and always available, even if that means on weekends and during school breaks. And as Justin Whaley pointed out, “She shows up everyday with a smile and brightens our day.”   

“Her unwavering support and tireless efforts have transformed the lives of countless children with special needs,” Benton High Assistant Principal Jason Edwards interjected. “She goes above and beyond to ensure that every student receives the individualized attention they deserve. Her compassion, patience and expertise make her a true champion for special education.” 

Bossier Schools Director of Special Education Dr. Lillian Holley cannot agree more. 

“Suzan is the most encouraging, positive, kind person I know. I am blessed that she is a part of our team in Bossier,” Holley said.

It is easy to see why many of Doherty’s colleagues came together to nominate her for Bossier Schools’ prestigious Gold Star award. Happy to work quietly behind the scenes, Doherty found herself in the spotlight recently when she was surprised with the honor. 

“The Gold Star is such an honor,” Doherty expressed. “I totally believe that Bossier Parish is a great district to work in. The people that I have encountered want the same thing – to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. The leadership is phenomenal and the staff is exceptional. I love my job as a coordinator, because no one can do this alone, and ‘Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!’”

Congratulations to Suzan Doherty and thank you for being a difference maker! 

Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that is deserving of recognition for going above and beyond? Nominate them for the Gold Star award, proudly sponsored for the 11th year by Bossier Federal Credit Union. Visit https://bit.ly/3oAP4Mi to tell what sets them apart and be watching for our next Gold Star surprise. 

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