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

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

Bridgedale Elementary’s Benjamin Moscona, Estelle School’s Alisha Gilbert, and Helen Cox High’s Mark Perry each received this prestigious honor. The three JPPSS educators are now eligible to become 2017 Louisiana Principal of the Year.

The winning candidates must demonstrate a positive impact on student learning, ensure the delivery of rigorous and standards-based instructional practice and support, and demonstrate the ability to invest and inspire colleagues, families, community, and students.


Superintendent Joseph surprises Bridgedale Elementary Principal Benjamin Moscona with the news he’s the JPPSS Elementary School Principal of the Year.

Benjamin Moscona has been the principal of Bridgedale Elementary since 2012. He has also served JPPSS as an assistant principal at Green Park Elementary and a special education teacher at Dolhonde Elementary. Promoting “Beagle Pride,” he helped lead Bridgedale Elementary from a “D” to a “B” on the state report card.

“Bridgedale has been recognized nationally, becoming a National Title I Distinguished School, receiving notification from the Louisiana Department of Education for being a Top Gains school two years in a row, and our enrollment has risen by 150 students,” said Moscona. “Parents want to send their children to our school.”


Estelle School Principal Alisha Gilbert was surprised to discover she was named the JPPSS Middle School Principal of the Year.

Alisha Gilbert has been the principal of Estelle School since 2012. Along with serving as dean of student services and a teacher at Estelle, Gilbert has been assistant principal of Solis Elementary and a teacher at Broadmoor Elementary and Claiborne Elementary.

Gilbert has a long history of improving student achievement, developing strong cultures, and engaging parents and the community. Under Gilbert’s leadership, Estelle has also seen its school report card grade improve from a “D” to a “B.”

“Staff, students, parents, and community stakeholders understood that we had to meet our students where they were academically,” said Gilbert. “And while holding all accountable for what we believed our students could do, last year’s goals were met. Ultimately, making true that, “anything is possible, if you believe.”


The Helen Cox High cheerleaders and band helped surprise Mark Perry with the news that he was the JPPSS High School Principal of the Year.

Mark Perry has been the principal of Helen Cox High since 2013. He’s also served as principal of Cuillier Career Center, assistant principal and dean of Higgins High, an adjunct professor at Delgado Community College and a teacher at Dunbar Middle, Meisler Middle, and Florence J. Chester School.

Perry helped raise expectations and increase student proficiency across a number of subjects. Even with a laundry list of professional accomplishments and awards, Perry said one of his greatest contributions is the joy he gets shaping and directing the lives of young people.

“Every day that I walk into the school to face my beautiful students, they realize that I have high expectations for them to learn whatever is necessary,” said Perry, “and to become knowledgeable young men and women who strive for excellence and become lifelong learners.”

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 and pushing them to achieve at the highest levels in the state. Their commitment to student success exemplifies Louisiana’s teaching profession.

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.

Click through the photo gallery below to see the surprise visit JPPSS Superintendent Isaac G. Joseph and Chief of Staff Germain Gilson made to each of the winning principals.