The 2013 Middle School Teacher of the Year named Friday night by the Louisiana Department of Education is Ms. Amanda Warren, a fourth grade teacher at Lake Harbor Middle School in Mandeville. She was one of eight regional finalists picked earlier this year for the recognition .
Nearly 300 educators were honored during the sixth annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration in Baton Rouge.
"Great teachers and great leaders are the heart and soul of great schools. These distinguished educators and administrators are a fine representation of the high-caliber professionals we are fortunate to have in Louisiana public schools," State Superintendent John White said. "Each of the educators we honored during the celebration of education represent the backbone of our educational system. They are shaping the lives of our children, and we all enjoy thanking them in this very special way."
Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, said, "We are extremely proud of Ms. Warren’s selection as one of Louisiana’s most outstanding teachers. We know that her students and parents also congratulate her and appreciate her dedication and classroom expertise. St. Tammany teachers winning regional and state honors such as these help ensure that we are providing the best leadership and educational opportunities for the children of St. Tammany Parish.”
Ms. Warren was born and raised in the Mandeville area. She graduated from Mandeville High School in 1999 and earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from LSU in May 2003. She earned her Master's Degree in Educational Technology Leadership in 2009 from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. A resident of Madisonville, she has been teaching nine years.
"I absolutely love teaching, and I cannot imagine doing anything else!" she said. "I love to be involved at school, and I love to stay busy." Ms. Warren is a member of LHMS's Positive Behavior Support Committee and Technology Committee, co-sponsor of 4th grade student council, co-sponsor of the yearbook, and serves as the grade level chair for the fourth grade.
Earlier this year Mary Jane Smith, Principal of Honey Island Elementary in Slidell, was named one of five regional finalists for the Elementary Principal of the Year honor.
Principals and teachers are selected based on their leadership and teaching skills, respectively, as well as their dedication and respect of students, parents and colleagues; demonstrated school and community leadership; affiliations with educational organizations; ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities; and their commitment to their profession.
Click here to view a photograph of Ms. Warren and Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, at the event.