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JPPSS Awards Elementary, Middle, and High School Students of the Year

The Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) named its district winners for the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2017 Louisiana Student of the Year.

Bissonet Plaza Elementary fifth grader Anthony Fisher, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy eighth grader Myles Mackie, and Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy senior Stefan Suazo received this prestigious honor. These three students are now eligible to become 2017 Louisiana Student of the Year.

“Congratulations to each of these outstanding students. Their many accomplishments are due to the hard work and dedication they give to their education on a daily basis,” said JPPSS Superintendent Isaac G. Joseph. “I also want to thank their parents and educators for guiding these young men on such an enriching path.”

Superintendent Isaac G. Joseph and Chief of Staff Germaine Gilson congratulate Fisher on winning student of the year.

Bissonet Plaza Elementary fifth grade student Anthony Fisher is president of the school’s student council. The JPPSS Elementary School Student of the Year regularly makes the school’s honor roll, places in the academic games, and is a multiple time recipient of the Superintendent’s Award. Outside the classroom, Fisher participates in theater, athletics, and the school’s ballroom dance team.

“I always dream big, especially when it comes to my goals and aspirations,” said Fisher. “Some of my goals and aspirations are to study robotics and become an animator one day.”

Mackie was all smiles when he was surprised with the good news by school and district leaders.

Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy eighth grade student Myles Mackie made his passion known during the application process from the first sentence of his biographical essay. “I love STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math),” wrote the JPPSS Middle School Student of the Year. As a member of his school’s robotics team, Mackie helped Patrick Taylor Academy earn the Innovative Design Award at the state competition and place first in a competition at the National WWII Museum.

“I believe there is always a solution to a problem, even if it isn’t obvious,” said Mackie. ” Finding solutions to problems…with potential inventions is the reason why I want to become an engineer.”

Suazo knew something was up when his family walked into his classroom for a big announcement.

Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy senior Stefan Suazo is a 2017 National Merit Semifinalist. The JPPSS High School Student of the Year scored in the top 1% nationally on the ACT, PSAT, and SAT. Valedictorian of his school, Suazo also sees immense value in serving his community. He became the only person under the age of 70 to receive the President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the National WWII Museum. He’s also organized numerous school events through his leadership roles (including president) on the student government association. His mother, Claudia Suazo, is a fourth grade teacher at Metairie Academy.

“As a first generation American, I have always been pushed to succeed,” said Suazo. “My father, an immigrant from Honduras, has always reinforced the value of hard work in life, and my mother, a German immigrant, has consistently reminded me of the importance of education.”

The Louisiana Department of Education, in conjunction with the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, annually honors one incredible fifth, eighth, and twelfth grade student based on their leadership, academic performance, achievements, citizenship, and service to the school and community.

Students are selected by their school and submitted to the local education agency. Nominees are then forwarded to a Regional Selection Committee. The resulting eighteen finalists then compete at the state level. The winner of the three grade levels are announced on the evening of the final day of competition.