Keller Elementary’s Samuel Korn Named Louisiana Elementary Student of the Year

IMG_5682The state’s top elementary school student calls the Jefferson Parish Public School System home. Keller Elementary fifth-grader Samuel Korn has been named the elementary school Louisiana Student of the Year.

The Louisiana Department of Education tonight named the 2016 Students of the Year winners and honored all 18 regional finalists for the coveted award. The annual awards ceremony was held at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge. The winners, one student from the elementary, middle, and high school grades, were selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and community.

“These are the best of the best, Louisiana’s future leaders,” said State Superintendent John White. “I want to congratulate each and every one of them, including the finalists. Being chosen student of the year, speaks volumes to the character of these individuals, they are shining examples of what all students should strive to be.”

Korn is not just an outstanding student, he is also a talented musician and disciplined in the martial arts, achieving his black belt in 2014. He is a member of the school band and the Mega Five Band, playing the recorder and the saxophone. He performed at the French Quarter Festival last year with the Red Wolf Brass Band. Additionally, Korn is a member of the National Honor Society, National Junior Beta Club, and the Student Council, serving as president this school year. In his community, he has helped raise money and collect snack donations for under-privileged students at United Methodist Church.

The night’s other big winners were Hiba Azeem Hasan of Dutchtown Middle School in Ascension Parish and Cole Joseph Grieshop of Destrehan High School in St. Charles Parish.

The process of selecting winners begins at the school level. All public and approved non-public elementary, middle, and high schools across the state are asked to submit one candidate from 5th, 8th, and 12th grade, depending on the grade configuration of the school. These students then compete with their peers at the district level and may advance to the regional competitions, where Regional Finalists are chosen.

Each finalist then submits a portfolio and completes a written composition the day of the award ceremony. An independent selection committee also interviews the finalists to evaluate their communication and critical thinking skills before selecting the winners at each grade level.

Click here to learn more about Korn and the other JPPSS Students of the Year.