LAP Office - North
LAP Office - South
Dr. Ragan Lorraine
As most of us begin our holiday vacation, I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This year has brought us many new challenges, but we have overcome and managed to continue providing students the best quality education. We are all learning new ways to work together and to support our teachers and staff. May 2021 bring us an end to the pandemic that has been a daily challenge. May you, your family, friends, faculty and students have a safe and enjoyable Christmas season.
Alnata Dione Bradford
2021 Louisiana Principal of the Year
Alnata Dione Bradford is the principal of Parkway Elementary School in Vernon District. She is the proud daughter of two Louisiana educators who share a combined total of 65+ years of teaching experience. Her parents instilled in each of their five children the importance of faith, love, and education. Bradford began as the assistant principal of Parkway in 2016, and was appointed principal in 2017. Parkway is located near an Army installation in Fort Polk, LA. The school houses 580 students in Grades 1-4, and is over 90% military affiliated. On average, Parkway tends to gain or lose five-seven students monthly due to military deployments or station reassignments. Despite the challenges of a transient population, Bradford remains resilient and ensures that notable learning impact is made for all students. Under her leadership, Parkway was recognized as an “A” school in 2017. Parkway was recognized last year as a Louisiana “Top Gains” school with 10.1 growth points and was also honored for receiving the most growth in the district with an SPS increase of 9.6 points. Previously, Bradford taught 3rd grade at West Leesville Elementary for 15 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Southern University A&M College and her masters in Educational Leadership from McNeese State University.
2021 Louisiana Elementary School Principal of the Year
Rachelle Naquin Brown is currently the principal of LeBlanc Elementary School in Abbeville, Louisiana. In Mrs. Brown's first year as principal, LeBlanc Elementary was recognized as a School of Distinction, a School of Outstanding Growth, and a Top Gains Honoree. LeBlanc is in its inaugural year of French Immersion and has just become a Leader in Me School. Mrs. Brown previously served as the Assistant Principal of Cecil Picard Elementary School in Maurice, and S.J. Montgomery Elementary in Lafayette. Prior to becoming an educational leader, Mrs. Brown was a middle-school band director in Lafayette and Acadia Parishes, and she was named the 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year in Lafayette Parish and the 2002-2003 Teacher of the Year in Acadia Parish. Mrs. Brown earned her Master of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has completed the National Institute for School Leadership Executive Development Program.
2021 Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year
Dennis Stewart Jr. is a resident of Alexandria, Louisiana where he has lived for forty plus years. He had the privilege of attending several of the area's schools, not realizing at that time he would someday serve his community as a teacher within the Rapides Parish School District for more than ten years. He graduated from Peabody Magnet High School. He went on to pursue and earn his Bachelors and M.Ed. degrees in education from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mr. Stewart has always had a passion and strong desire for serving as a Transformational Leader within the community in which he grew up. His focus has been at-risk schools to serve in roles of leadership. He served as an assistant principal at Arthur Smith Middle Magnet School for a period of 6 years. Through both hard work and dedication, he was able to strengthen his craft and develop a leadership style that would one day help him lead his own school. His years of service to Arthur Smith, the students and the surrounding community came to an abrupt and unexpected end when on October 9, 2015 he was appointed by the Superintendent to serve as Principal of Alexandria Middle Magnet School. Mr. Stewart continues to serve the students and community by actively selecting the best staff. As Principal, he ensures that all stakeholders embrace the school vision of pursuing excellence in the areas of Academics, Athletics and Performing Arts.
2021 Louisiana High School Principal of the Year
Jerel Bryant is the principal of George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans, LA. Founded in the 1950s, Carver is a community pillar in the Upper Ninth Ward. Over the past 9 years, Jerel's work has strengthened the connection between the New Orleans community, Carver alumni, and the school itself. Under his leadership, the school has made significant academic gains. In 2018, Carver was named a Top Equity Honoree by the Louisiana Department of Education for outpacing city and state averages for students with disabilities and English Language Learners. In the 2018-19 school year, Carver ranked first in academic growth in New Orleans among open enrollment schools serving grades 9-12. Beyond academics, Jerel invests heavily in arts, athletic, and career and technical programming. As a result, Carver has cultivated one of the strongest band programs in the city, produced its first full-length play since pre-Katrina, and built an athletic program consistently competing for district and state championships. Jerel works to attract and retain excellent teachers, with a 3-year average of 85% of teachers returning each school year. In February of 2020, Jerel received national acclaim as the first principal to receive the TFA Collective National Advisory Board SLOC School Leader Honor. Jerel came to New Orleans to teach middle school through Teach for America in 2007. He then spent three years teaching Social Studies at Abramson Sci Academy and working as a campus leader prior to his school leadership. Jerel received his Bachelor's degree in History from Yale University.
Congratulations to all Louisiana Principals of the Year! LAP will be recognizing and honoring them at the 2021 Annual Administrators' Conference that will be held in Lake Charles at the Golden Nugget on January 31, 2021, - February 1, 2021. Register today. You won't want to miss it!
The 2020-2021 LAP Annual Administrators' Conference will be held on Sunday evening, January 31 - Monday, February 1, in Lake Charles at the Golden Nugget Casino and Resort. This administrators' Conference will be for ALL administrators--principals and assistant principals.
Dr. Adolph Brown
LAP is proud to welcome Dr. Adolph Brown to Louisiana. Dr. Brown is an American urban and rural school educator, author, research-scientist, businessman, and keynote speaker. He is a servant-leader at heart, a life-long social justice advocate and a career teacher educator. As a credentialed Master Teacher, he helps teachers reach every student. As a much sought-after and highly effective Unconscious Bias, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion keynote speaker, Dr. Brown skillfully addresses the impact of stereotypes. He credits much of his success to the luxury of humble beginnings of being reared by a single parent mother in abject poverty of the inner city housing projects infested with gangs, drugs and violence. For more on Dr. Adolph Brown, go to DocSpeaks.com.
The conference will begin on Sunday, January 31, 2021. Registration will begin at 3 p.m. with the first general session at 4 p.m. Then at 6 p.m. DreamTeachers is sponsoring our Social Networking Reception once again.
Beginning at 7:30 a.m. Monday, February 1, 2021, enjoy a hot breakfast buffet. Those who were unable to sign in on Sunday afternoon will be able to register at this time as well. The second general session will begin at 8:30 a.m. with our keynote speaker, Dr. Adolph Brown. There will also be time during the morning to visit our many exhibitors that support LAP. You don't want to miss the Principals of the Year luncheon! This year not only are we recognizing and honoring our Principals of the Year, we will be recognizing and honoring our Assistant Principal of the Year. This is just a "sneak peak" into what LAP has planned for this years' conference. More details will be announced at a later date.
Registration is now open. Register today!
2020-2021 Louisiana Assistant Principal of the Year
Robert Schaff is the assistant principal at John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School in St. John the Baptist Parish. He has been an assistant principal for 12 years. Mr. Schaff earned his Bachelor's Degree at LSU and his Master of Education at Southeastern Louisiana University. He currently serves on the Advisory Council on Student Behavior and Discipline State Committee and the St. John the Baptist Parish Discipline Committee. He served as a LDOE District Leader Induction Program Mentor from 2006 - 2008. He is an active member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church and served in the United States Navy/Naval Reserve from 1975 - 2002. Mr. Schaff improved the schools' existing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support by consistently rewarding scholars and faculty and implementing Class Dojo - a school communication platform. He collaborated with faculty, staff, and parents to solve an afternoon dismissal safety hazard issue. Monica Brown, principal of John L. Ory, states " . . . Mr. Schaff has a tremendous work ethic and ability to effectively lead. Most importantly, he is always an advocate for our scholars!" LAP congratulates Mr. Robert Schaff, the 2020-2021 Louisiana Assistant Principal of the Year. Mr. Schaff will be recognized at the 2021 Annual Administrators' Conference. Register today.
As 2020 comes to an end I look back at what a year it has been. Principals are in the trenches fighting the battle to keep our students and staff in schools. They are working hard to keep all stakeholders safe and healthy as well as providing our children the best education possible. Thanks so much for all you do!!
This article pretty much sums up the BESE meeting on December 15. It's a good read to share with your teachers.
Other issues addressed at the recent BESE Meeting:
- Waiting on a new Secretary of Education to be announced on the federal level. Once this is done then the DOE will ask for a waiver on Accountability for the 2021 school year.
- Article explains the doctor's comments to the board. They did say it was safer for students to be at school so don't look for the LDOE to be closing schools anytime soon. Also, there is a request for educators to be made a priority on the Vaccine roll out. That will be turned over to the Governor's office.
- The state department has received grant funding for Literacy Coaches on the K-2 level. The issue is this is a matching grant so districts will have to pay for these coaches and the state will match the funds.
- Social Studies Curriculum is being updated this year. Look for applications on the DOE website if you would like for someone in your district to serve on the committee. Social Studies Review Structure Steering Committee.
- 65% of Louisiana students are face to face at schools. 15% are virtual and 20% are hybrid. More districts are moving to face to face only after the holidays.
Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions on any of these topics.
Our recent New Principals Workshop was a great success. We appreciate our Principals of the Year, Dione Bradford, Rachelle Brown, and Dennis Stewart for helping to facilitate the event. They did a wonderful job, and we appreciate them so much! Thanks to Dr. Cade Brumley and the Department of Education for helping to sponsor this event. We couldn’t have done it without them!
I want to wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and hope you can get the rest and relaxation you deserve. Try your best to leave your worries at school and enjoy this holiday season with your family.
The 26th Annual Clerical Conference was held on December 7 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Lafayette. The conference was a huge success. The attendance was down due to the coronavirus and the hurricanes. However, all safety protocols were followed and there were no issues.
Candy Whirley was the keynote speaker for this years event. She has been speaking for over 30 years and has owned SBG Services, LLC since 2001. She has spoken nationally and internationally.
Candy is a former Kansas City Chiefs Chiefette, performed at Starlight Theater in Kansas City, and modeled for the Kansas City Star Magazine. Candy’s sessions were an interactive and engaging experience.
Candy started the day with her keynote, It Takes 4 To Tango…these People Are Not Difficult, They Are Just Different! Attendees explored behavioral styles that made them think, laugh, even dance…and recognize their true self and others. They also learned how to be more flexible about the personality differences and understand what leads to problems like communication breakdown, negotiation let-down, and delegation fall-down by learning the secrets to connecting and partnering with other personality styles. Candy concluded the day with Emotional Intelligence. This session taught how to get emotions under control. A lot was learned in an hour about emotions and how to CALM DOWN without someone saying “Calm Down!” The session then focused on how to handle difficult emotions in their professional life.
Plans are now being made for the 27th Annual Clerical Conference which will be held on December 6, 2021.
LAP, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education, once again, held a new principals' workshop focusing on principals with 0 - 3 years experience. Kimberly Eckert was the keynote speaker.
The event was a great success. We appreciate our Principals of the Year, Dione Bradford, Rachelle Brown, and Dennis Stewart for helping to facilitate the event. They did a wonderful job, and we appreciate them so much!
One attendee commented, "I think that events like these should happen throughout the year, even if they are virtual. It was a great time for new principals to sound off ideas from one to another. It was also a great networking time." Another said, "I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the whole group conversation we had at the end of this workshop. Hearing what other new principals are facing and how they and their districts are addressing those challenges let me know that I am not alone in the challenges and gave me insight on some alternative ways to meet those challenges."
LAP and the LDOE look forward to having another New Principals' Workshop in the future.