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JP Schools Educators Named Semi-Finalists for Louisiana Principal & Teacher of the Year

St. Ville Elementary Principal Terrah Averette-Harrison and C.T. Janet Elementary teacher Jamie Staes are each one step closer to the state’s highest honor.

Averette-Harrison and Staes were named semi-finalists for Louisiana Principal of the Year and Louisiana Teacher of the Year, respectively, when the Louisiana Department of Education announced the 2020 semi-finalists.

All Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists and semi-finalists will be honored at the 13th Annual Cecil. J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration on Friday, July 19, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This exciting event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers.

St. Ville Elementary’s Terrah Averette-Harrison is moved to tears after her students and teachers surprise her with the news that she’s the district’s elementary school Principal of the Year. Students and teachers gathered outside and showered Averette-Harrison with congratulations and thank you cards.

Jefferson Parish Schools Elementary School Principal of the Year Terrah Averette-Harrison has been principal of St. Ville Elementary for four years, since the school reopened during the summer of 2015. She was hired that June and only had 25 days to hire over 40 teachers and staff, as well as get the school ready to welcome over 500 students for the first day. Under her leadership, the school’s performance score has grown every year. St. Ville Elementary has been recognized for Top Growth and Top Gains by the Louisiana Department of Education.

“My vision then and now is simply to lead a team of educators that share my passion for teaching underserved students,” said Averette-Harrison. “Collectively and collaboratively, we work as agents of change to personify the persistence, passion, and pride this urban community needs.”

Janet Elementary’s Jamie Staes celebrates with her students after being named Teacher of the Year.

JP Schools Elementary School Teacher of the Year Jamie Staes teaches second grade at C.T. Janet Elementary. Staes has been an educator for five years. She works to create a welcoming environment in her classroom where all children feel loved, valued, and respected. Staes strives to make sure her students understand the purpose behind their work. She teaches kids the importance of having a growth mindset and in the “power of yet.”

“I begin to hear the student speak differently and the students themselves begin to take notice in how they have grown and how they have become much better in a particular subject,” said Staes. “Students realize they are allowed to make mistakes and they begin to try more and they feel more confident asking questions.”