2019 Fall Newsletter Print

Mission Statement:

Mission Statement: To provide quality School-based Administrative Leadership for Louisiana schools through Professional Development, Legislation and Member Services.

LAP Office - North

103 Crawford St. Winnfield, - LA 71483
Phone: (318) 648-2999

LAP Office - South

P. O. Box 488 LaPlace, - LA 70069
Phone: (504) 909-4650

Web Site:

Toll free 800-238-9371
FAX 318-648-2990

[email protected]

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2020 Louisiana Principals of the Year

2020 Louisiana Principals of the Year

Overall Louisiana Principal of the Year
Ms. Jennifer Dennis-Carey

Jennifer Dennis Carey is the School Leader of KIPP East Primary in New Orleans, LA. She founded KIPP East in 2014, starting with a team of 10 dedicated educators and 100 kindergarten students. Under her leadership, the staff has grown to a team of 60, and the school now serves approximately 560 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade.

Last year, KIPP East’s first year to participate in state testing, LEAP 2025 results placed the school in the top 10 elementary schools in New Orleans, including selective enrollment schools. KIPP East was also recognized as a top-performing high-poverty school, meaning the school scored in the top 20 percent of Louisiana schools that serve a population of greater than 75 percent economically disadvantaged students.

Carey began working with KIPP New Orleans 12 years ago as a 5th grade reading teacher.  Compelled to become part of the system-wide change that was occurring in the city, she founded KIPP East. Previously, she worked for Teach forAmerica and taught 2nd grade in the South Bronx in New York City. Carey received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory University in Atlanta and a Master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in New York City.

Louisiana Elementary Principal of the Year
Lisa Burns

Lisa Burns has served as an educator in Bossier Parish for 22 years and is currently the Principal of W.T. Lewis Elementary, where she began her journey in administration as the school’s first Assistant Principal.

Recognized in her community as a passionate and innovative leader, Mrs. Burns is committed to making school a place where children not only reach high levels of success, but where they are loved, supported, and surrounded by inspired and empowered educators who work together to help every child succeed. Ignited by this vision and her calling as an educator, Mrs. Burns unleashed the power of “WE” at W.T. Lewis and transformed the school’s culture. She consistently seeks opportunities to reflect and grow as a leader, while placing teacher professional development at the top of her priorities as a principal, understanding that the teacher is the most influential factor in a child’s education and success.

Maintaining a standard of excellence, the school has earned an “A” rating each year of her principalship, and in 2018 W.T. Lewis was recognized as a Top Gains School and an Equity Honoree. Inspired by her leadership, W.T. Lewis has become a place where opportunity and success becomes a reality for students of all backgrounds and abilities. As State Principal of the Year, Mrs. Burns plans to share how she evolved as a leader and inspired positive change at her school after serving as one of the school’s leaders for almost a decade. She aspires to energize principals, inspiring them to lead with passion and purpose and supporting them in unleashing the power of “WE” that also lies within their schools.

Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year
Tamika Green

Tamika Green is a passionate, data and student-driven leader who sees everything through the lens of equity and urgency when it comes to addressing the needs of all.  She has been an educator for twenty-four years and served as an administrator for eighteen of those years. 

Tamika puts students first when making all decisions and she knows that it is not about her. She believes in servant leadership and she creates individual action plans for each member of her faculty, staff and student body that results in success for all. Tamika knows the mindsets and heart-sets of each individual in her schoolhouse and she nurtures and builds sincere relationships that are the foundation to driving her school forward.  The people-centered focus is key to how Tamika gets the job done and she uses her expertise to motivate and inspire all to rally around the mission of college and career readiness for every child, every day.   She ensures that her teachers grow and improve as knowledgeable and competent professionals while also supporting her teachers in upholding the high standards and rigorous academic requirements. 

Her faculty is aware of the importance of also addressing the social-emotional learning skills of all students.  Tamika leads with a courageous heart and knows that she often has to be comfortable being uncomfortable.  She has trained her faculty to align with her beliefs and is willing to address all toxic behavior that does not align with excellence. 

All stakeholders that enter her school are welcomed to join in partnership with the mission and vision. The culture and climate allows her school to be a true representation of the all-in philosophy where everyone operates at one hundred percent, and since Tamika does not believe in luck or happenstance, she lives her life in alignment with Aristotle's quote, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit" and as a Principal for the last thirteen years she has made it a habit of taking action to increase student growth and achievement on a daily basis.

Louisiana High School Principal of the Year
Carli Francois

Carli Francois is the eldest daughter of Randall Anderson and Kim Bourque and grew up in LaPlace but moved to Ascension Parish in 2005. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Reuben Francois, and has three children: Reuben Francois II (a 20 yr. old junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art), Olivia Francois (an 18 yr. old freshman at Columbia University), and Isabella Francois (a 16 yr. old junior at Dutchtown High School). Carli is happy to be starting her 23rd year as a Louisiana public school educator and feels she is blessed to fulfill part of her life's calling by serving the youth of today and leaders of tomorrow. The 2019-2020 school year will be her sixth year as Principal of Dutchtown High School in Geismar, LA.

Carli is a proud graduate of East St. John High School (1992), Southeastern Louisiana University, (BA in 1997) and Southern University (MEd in 2009). Over the years, Mrs. Francois taught English, Speech, and/or Yearbook/Publications in St. James (St. James HS), St. John (East St. John HS), and Ascension (Dutchtown HS) parishes. She also served as an Instructional Coach (Dutchtown HS) and TAP Mentor Teacher (Donaldsonville HS) before becoming an Assistant Principal (East Ascension HS) and then Principal of Dutchtown High School.

Through her various experiences as an educator, Mrs. Francois has learned so much about learning, teaching, and leading, about the capacity of growth for all who are engaged in educating our youth, and most importantly about her own life-long learning. Being an educator has only strengthened Carli's love for all people and has only confirmed her belief in the potential of all young people, regardless of their differences or perceived setbacks.

Carli's number one love is her family and spending quality time with them. The memories she treasures most are singing at the top of her lungs and dancing like nobody's watching with her husband and children, especially because she has similar memories from her own childhood.

Supporting her students in their extra-curricular events is also fun for Mrs. Francois because she loves athletics, the arts, and any other avenue for students to grow and stretch during their high school experiences.

Mrs. Francois is an optimist who believes in a bright future because of the sacrifices we make for and the investments we make in our youth. Carli has no doubt that her generation is in good hands because she spends every day inspired by the leaders of tomorrow.

The Louisiana Association of Principals is proud to honor all of our 2020 Louisiana Principal of the Year winners.

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President's Message

Ragan Lorraine

Congratulations my fellow principals, you’re doing it!  The 2019-2020 school year is underway, and although the beginning of a school year can be challenging, it is my hope that you’ve experienced smooth sailing with your students and faculty.  Being a principal is like sailing a ship because although the journey is rewarding, the waters can be rough at times.  It is our love for children that helps us sail through the daily trials and tribulations we face as we move towards calmer waters.  Each of us works hard to ensure all students are equipped with the necessary tools to reach their fullest potential and successfully travel through their own waters.   

I am very excited at the opportunity to serve as the LAP President.  Although I enjoyed and appreciated my time as a board member, I am eager for this new chapter to begin. Moving forward, the organization will continue to support and guide principals, assistant principals, and legislative members so that positive, impactful decisions are made for Louisiana.  It is imperative that we continue to keep abreast of all changes occurring in our state.  Please feel free to contact the LAP office with any concerns you may encounter during this school year.  I assure you that everyone is diligently working to ensure that Louisiana principals are supported and their voices heard in order to move Louisiana’s educational system in a positive direction.   

I read this quote earlier this week, “Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader… They set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role- Always about the goal.”   Let’s continue to make a difference in our schools by providing the leadership required for teachers and students to reach their goals.  The role of Principal is a self-rewarding experience for which I am truly grateful on a daily basis.

May this year bring you many successes and few challenges. Please reach out to the LAP organization with any concerns, ideas, ways to improve, etc. If we all work together, we can strengthen our LAP organization in order to be a continued support system for all.

Have a great remainder of the school year.

Dr. Ragan Lorraine

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LAP Ambassadors

LAP has started a new program—LAP Ambassadors!  This program allows us to keep our retired principals busy as they reach out to new members to welcome them to the organization! We would like to thank our first inductees into this special group --- Ray Simon, Ronda Richardson, Wayne Messina and Teri Noel.  They visited over 50 new members to welcome them into the organization! Click here to see pictures of a few of the new members they visited.

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Annual Conference

The 68th Annual Conference was held at the L'auberge Resort Hotel and Casino in Baton Rouge September 22 - 24, 2019.  LAP welcomed nationally-recognized speaker Todd Whitaker to Louisiana. The Louisiana Principals of the Year were honored at the annual Principal of the Year Luncheon.  Exhibitors/Vendors supported our conference by exhibiting their products.  Dream Teachers sponsored a reception Monday and those attending the reception were entered into a drawing for various door prizes.  Andre Adams of Lafourche Parish won the grand door prize--the use of a Mercedes for an entire weekend. 

The Louisiana Principals of the Year shared their best practices on Tuesday, September 24.  Governor Edwards addressed the group Tuesday.  The conference was a very valuable networking and professional development time for principals.  Make plans now to attend the September 2020 conference.  The exact date and place will be determined at a later date. Click Todd Whitaker's picture below to see snapshots of the conference.

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From The Desk of The Executive Director

Hi All,

We recently sent out an advertisement for LAP Executive Director and I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know how much I have enjoyed working as your Executive Director.  It is hard to believe that it has been 6 years – and that I turn 65 this year!  I would like to encourage principals to apply for this position as it provides a great opportunity to advocate for school administrators.  It also provides the opportunity to grow professionally and work with principals from across the United States on issues that are important to all of us, as well as serve as the spokesperson for LAP on state and national issues. The application link can be found on our website and also in this newsletter and is due by January 15th, 2020!

We had a great fall conference with Todd Whitaker as our keynote speaker and we received some great best practices from our State Principals of the Year!  We also started a new program—LAP Ambassadors!  This program allows us to keep our retired principals busy as they reach out to new members to welcome them to the organization! We would like to thank our first inductees into this special group --- Wayne Messina, Teri Noel, Ronda Richardson and Ray Simon.  They visited over 50 new members to welcome them into the organization!

We have several conferences coming up (Mark your calendars):

December 9th--- Annual Clerical Conference—Lafayette—Registration is open now— A registration link can be found in this newsletter for your convenience.  This is a great opportunity for your administrative assistants!

December 10th--- New Principals Workshop— Lafayette – Registrations is open now---LAP is partnering with the LDOE to offer a workshop for New Principals ( 0-3 Years of Experience)  This workshop is free to members and is limited to the first 100 registered! A registration link is included in this newsletter for your convenience!

LAP has been contacted by representative from Camp Kesem about a special camp held at LSU for children of parents who have had/or currently have cancer.  The age range for students to attend is 6-18.  The camp is held during the summer and registration information will be sent out soon.  We are including the flyer in this newsletter—please check it out for more details on the program.

Please encourage your co-workers (Principals and Assistant Principals) to become members of LAP--the more members we have the more our voice is heard!  We are the only organization that is affiliated with the national principal’s organizations (NAESP and NASSP) and we advocate for principals/site-based administrators at the national level also!

One last note—we cannot stress enough how important it is that you exercise your right to VOTE!  There will be a new BESE Board in January along with a new Governor—these positions are critical to the future of Education in our state and we encourage everyone to do the research, get the facts, and VOTE accordingly! Your vote does make a difference!

 Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks for all that you do!

Debbie Schum


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Louisiana Assistant Principal of the Year

2019 Louisiana Assistant Principal of the Year
Casey Cheramie

Casey Cheramie is in her 3rd year as an Assistant Principal at Galliano Elementary School and has 15 years of teaching experience. She received a Master of Educational Leadership from Nicholls State University.   She was Teacher of the Year in 2014 and has served as RTI Chairman, PBIS Chairman and SBLC Chairman as well as being a member of the Elementary Science, Social Studies and Math team.  Her supervisors share that she is a dynamic school leader and possesses the talents and skills essential to being a curriculum and instructional leader.  She is highly reflective and demonstrates a growth mindset.

Casey shares that she believes school culture is critical to students success and works constantly to insure that every adult and child in her school know that they are important to her and that she cares about them. She has worked to create an environment where students and adults can both succeed and fail with confidence knowing that they are safe to do so because they all stand and work together.

Casey also is an advocate for teaching the “whole student”.  Through their weekly Professional learning communities, teachers along with administrators designate time to review student data and explore which strategies and skills the students are mastering or struggling with.  This time is considered sacred and through collaborative discussions, teachers are ale to build strategies which help guide students to achieve at the highest level.  Their schools vision is –100% Effort, 100% of the time!

Her principal shares that she has a “fire for learning” and a “Children First” attitude. 

The Louisiana Association of Principals is proud to honr Casey Cheramie as Louisiana's 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year.

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Clerical Conference

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New Principals' Workshop

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Pathway to Equip College and Career-Bound Graduates with Knowledge, Skills Needed to Find Success in Education Profession

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today approved a new training pathway to equip both college and career-bound high school students interested in pursuing a career in education with the knowledge and skills needed to find success upon graduation. The Pre-Educator Pathway, part of the state's nationally recognized Jump Start career and technical education program, was submitted by the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).

"We are hopeful the newly-approved pathway will elevate the education profession as a career option for our young people," said State Superintendent John White. "We also hope it builds a pipeline to fulfill the state's need for diverse, capable, 21st Century educators."

High school students who enroll in the Pre-Educator Pathway will take a special progression of courses to help them develop strong foundational academic knowledge and skills, as well as an understanding of diverse learners and the learning environment. 

In addition to academic instruction, students may gain approximately 30-40 hours of practicum experience in the field to help them discover the K-12 teaching environment. The practicum experience will include a combination of classroom observation and classroom assistance. Their pathway work may culminate in various regional and statewide credentials that will help position them for postsecondary success, be it in a college or career setting.

For high school students who are seeking a TOPS University Diploma and who plan to become a certified teacher, the Pre-Educator Pathway will guide them toward becoming accomplished educators, starting in high school and extending through college and into the profession. Students who complete the pathway in high school and build on that foundation while in college will be prepared to ultimately pass required Louisiana teacher certification exams and master the General Teacher Competencies required for teacher certification in Louisiana. 

For high school students who are seeking a Jump Start TOPS Tech Career Diploma and who plan to enter the education profession through a position outside of certified teaching, the Pre-Educator Pathway can open the door for them to take on various roles, such as child care worker, school system cyber security analyst, paraprofessional, professional tutor or substitute teacher.

"We are proud to offer this pathway for high school students who have an interest in serving their communities through the teaching profession," said Amy Weems, an assistant professor in ULM's School of Education, which was pivotal in the creation of the pathway and which will serve as the credentialing authority for students. "This pathway was built through strong partnerships with our local school districts, and we look forward to helping those districts to train their best and brightest high school students who will return to serve future generations. It is the very best example of how 'grow your own' initiatives can exponentially improve the quality of education we can offer to our students to better our communities."

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Camp Kesem

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Calendar of Events

2019-2020 Conference Schedule

December 8 - 9, 2019
LAP's 25th Clerical Conference
Double Tree by Hilton
Lafayette, LA

December 10, 2019
New Principals Workshop
Double Tree by Hilton
Lafayette, LA

March 22-25, 2020
NAESP National Leaders Conference
Arlington, VA

March 23-25, 2020
NASSP Advocacy Conference
Washington, DC

July 7 – 9, 2020
NASSP National Principals Conference
National Harbor, MD

July 12– 14, 2020
NAESP Principals Conference
Louisville, KY

September 2020
LAP 69th Annual Conference

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The Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Principals is seeking an Executive Director.
The person selected will be expected to assume the position no later than July 1, 2020.

The salary range for the position is $45,000- $50,000.
A copy of the Executive Director’s job description and the
LAP Constitution and Bylaws can be found in the links below.

Executive Director Job Description
LAP Constitution
LAP Bylaws

Applications: All inquiries, letters of application, credentials and other information should be sent to the LAP office
and Postmarked no later than January 15th, 2020:

Ragan Lorraine 2019 – 2020 LAP President
Louisiana Association of Principals
103 Crawford Street
Winnfield, LA 71483

To be assured consideration, applicants’ files must be completed and must contain:

  • Formal letter of application and current resume
  • A copy of the applicants Teaching Certification   
  • Letters of reference from at least three people who can relate to the applicant’s professional ability
  • Must have been a Principal for at least 5 years   

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Welcome New Members


Acadia Parish
Christina Regan, Mermentau Elementary School

Allen Parish
Wilda Deville, Oakdale High School
Marcia Miller, Kinder Middle School

Bossier Parish Schools
Brooke Nolte, Stockwell Place Elementary
Michael Pedrotty, Haughton Middle School
Christy Presley, W. T. Lewis Elementary School

Caddo Parish
Jennifer DePriest, Herndon Magnet School
Kelley Hobson, North Highlands Elementary

Calcasieu Parish
Carmen Brown, R. W. Vincent Elementary School
Wendy Brown, Maplewood Elementary School
Rhoda Corkran, Lacassine HIgh School
Jessica Dwight, Gillis Elementary School
Lacey Fontenot, F. K. White Middle School
Robin Gates, Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy
William Maricle, F. K. White Middle School
Maeghan Montalbano, W. T. Henning Elementary School
Audrette Metoyer, Oak Park Middle School

Cameron Parish
Lauren Cesar, Grand Lake High School
Lisa Liburd, Johnson Bayou High School

Concordia Parish
Kimberly Jackson, Ferriday High School

East Baton Rouge Parish
Monique Burdette, Hosanna Christian Academy
Jo Cox, Brownfields Elementary School
Kelly Savant, Cedarcrest Southmoor Elementary

Evangeline Parish
Sarah Lafleur, Ville Platte High School
Tommy Jones, Ville Platte High School
Melanie Moore, Ville Platte High School

Iberia Parish
Amy Allen, Daspit Road Elementary
Melisa Jackson, Magnolia Elementary School
William Regard, Westgate High School
Diocese of Lafayette
Erin Henry, Catholic High School
Eugenie Segura, Catholic High School

Jefferson Parish
Kia Davis, Estelle Elementary School
Trenisha Johnson, Johnson Gretna Park
Michelle Montagnino, Johnson Gretna Park
Whitney Peyton, Marie B. Riviere Elementary
Latona Toney, Woodland West

Jefferson Davis Parish
Erica Arabie, James Ward Elementary School
Rhoda Corkran, Lacassine High School
Stacey Simien, Lake Arthur High School
Tisha Whittington, Jennings High School

Lafayette Parish
Larry Breaux, Carencro High School
Jason Leonard, Ernest Gallet Elementary School

Lafourche Parish
Christopher Arnold, Central Lafourche High School
Amy LeBlanc, Raceland Lower Elementary School
Sharone Smith-McPherson, East Thibodaux Middle School

LaSalle Parish
Casie Bradford, Jena Jr. High School
Malacha Harris, Olla Elementary School

Livingston Parish
Lisa Perkins, Amite Christian Academy

Madison Parish
Kimberly Pittman, Tallulah Elementary School

Ouachita Parish
Chantay Johnson, Sterlington Middle School

Plaquemines Parish
Paula Tesvich, Belle Chasse Primary School

Pointe Coupee Parish
Molly Talbot, Rosenwald Elementary

Rapides Parish
Sarah Butler, Alexandria Sr. High School
Becky Clear, Rapides Academy for Advanced Academics
David Montiel, Tioga High School
Ramonia Riddick, Tioga High School

Sabine Parish
Russell Peace, Zwolle High School

St. Charles Parish
Rebecca Matherne, New Sarpy Elementary
LaSonn Porter, Albert Cammon Middle School

St. John the Baptist Parish
Rachel Chaney, Fifth Ward Elementary

St Landry Parish
Sarah Mielke, Westminster Christian Academy

St. Martin Parish
Kristin Bozeman, Breaux Bridge Primary School
Amy Guillory, St. Martinville Primary School
Julie Laviolette, Parks Primary School

St. Mary Parish
Angela Brinkley, Centerville High School
Kimberly Caesar, Morgan City High School
Dequindra Redding-Ligon, Patterson Jr. High School

St. Tammany Parish
Tom Heier, Pontchartrain Elementary

Vermilion Parish
Jacqueline Devenport, Erath Middle School
Shay Herpin, Gueydan High School
Casey Meador, North Vermilion High School

Vernon Parish
Jerome Henson, Pickering High School

Webster Parish
Ja'Lyncia Walker, E. S. Richardson Elementary

West Baton Rouge Parish
Judith Brock, Lukeville Upper Elementary
Monica Bynum, Cohn Elementary


Calcasieu Parish
Marcus Simon, Lake Charles Charter Academy

Orleans Parish
Diocese of New Orleans
Deacon Lawrence Houston, St. Joan of Arc Catholic School


Calcasieu Parish
William Guillotte, Westlake High School
Jason Jagneaux, Sam Houston High School

St. Mary Parish
Brandan Trahan, Glencoe Charter School

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Horace Mann

                                                                                                           Help your teachers get the classroom supplies they need

We know most educators spend their own hard-earned money on classroom projects and supplies – an average of more than $500 a year*. That’s where Horace Mann’s $10,000 DonorsChoose.org “Fall into Funding” giveaway comes in!

Click here to read more.

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