JPPSS Names Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers of the Year

The Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) named its district winners for the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Harold Keller Elementary’s Doha Mosrie, Stella Worley Middle’s La Donna Smith, and Bonnabel Magnet Academy High’s Melissa Sallinger each received this prestigious honor. The three JPPSS educators are now eligible to become the 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year.

The winning candidates demonstrate excellence guiding students of all backgrounds and abilities, positively impact student achievement, create a culture of respect and success through collaboration, embody lifelong learning in the classroom and out through leadership and innovation, and express themselves in an engaging and articulate way.


JPPSS Chief of Staff Germaine Gilson, left, congratulates Doha Mosrie on being named the JPPSS Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

Doha Mosrie teaches fifth grade English language arts and social studies at Keller Elementary. The JPPSS Elementary School Teacher of the Year is her grade-level chairperson and leads the school’s student council. Mosrie founded a mentor program for new teachers and dedicates many of her Saturdays to a tutoring program.

“Inspiring students to reach their fullest potential and future success is the most gratifying aspect of teaching,” said Mosrie. “I believe that teachers are responsible for providing students with appropriate content, knowledge, and skills.”


JPPSS Superintendent Isaac G. Joseph enjoyed surprising La Donna Smith with the news that she is the JPPSS Middle School Teacher of the Year.

La Donna Smith is a seventh grade mathematics teacher at Worley Middle. The JPPSS Middle School Teacher of the Year is invested in her students in and out of the classroom. She uses technology and other tools to relate her math lessons to each student’s learning style. She also plays a role in extra curricular activities, like the school’s Ladies of Distinction program.

“It is my goal every day to be sure the students know I care about their success,” said Smith. “In turn, they begin to become invested in their own education. That to me is the goal of education, to have the student want it for themselves and come ready to learn.”


Melissa Sallinger gets a congratulatory group hug from her students after learning she is the JPPSS High School Teacher of the Year.

Melissa Sallinger teaches Algebra II and leadership at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High. The JPPSS High School Teacher of the Year has created and led school-wide initiatives aimed at improving ACT scores. She has also developed programs that have boosted student involvement on campus and throughout the community.

“The direct contact I have with my students,” said Sallinger, “enables me to teach them the skills they need to be successful in my class and in future classes, preparing them to be college and career ready.”

In partnership with Dream Teachers and the Louisiana Association of Principals, the Louisiana Department of Education annually honors the state’s most exceptional educators through the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs.

The Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year awards programs provide an opportunity to focus public attention on those educators who are making exceptional gains with students. Their commitment to student success exemplifies Louisiana’s teaching profession.