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JPPSS Teacher & Principal Named Semi-Finalists for State’s Top Honor

JPPSS Elementary Teacher of the Year Jessica Schwalb is surrounded by family during her surprise awards presentation.

JPPSS Elementary Teacher of the Year Jessica Schwalb is surrounded by family during her surprise awards presentation.

C.T. Janet Elementary third grade teacher Jessica Schwalb and Washington Elementary STEM School Principal Darlene Turnbull have been named two of the state’s top educational leaders. The Jefferson Parish Public School System elementary teacher and principal of the year are among 48 of the 2019 Teacher and Principal of the Year semi-finalists announced today by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE).

“Congratulations to both of these educators for being recognized among Louisiana’s best,” said JPPSS Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “Along with awards and accolades, their success can also be seen in the positive impact they make in the lives of our students.”

Jessica Schwalb

Jessica Schwalb

Schwalb has been an educator for 13 years. Last year around 90% of her students met or exceeded their reading goals on assessments. Along with being a mentor teacher at her school, Schwalb helps develop teachers across the district and the state. She also mentors students in the teacher preparation program at the University of Holy Cross.

Darlene Turnbull

Darlene Turnbull

Under Turnbull’s leadership, Washington Elementary earned Top Gains recognition for exemplary growth from the LDOE and saw its District Performance Score improve by a full letter grade this past school year. Washington Elementary is in its first year under a new STEM focus (science, technology, engineering, and math). As a new addition to the JPPSS Magnet Program, students from the entire East Bank of Jefferson Parish can apply to attend Washington Elementary.

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 Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year program. The awards program provides an opportunity to acknowledge educators who making exceptional gains with students.

The LDOE named 48 semi-finalists (24 teachers, 24 principals). The 18 finalists (9 teachers, 9 principals) will be announced at the Teacher Leader Summit in New Orleans this May. The winners will be announced and all finalists and semi-finalists will be honored at the 12th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration on July 27 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge.