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On the 6th of August, I was thrilled to be recognized by the St. Tammany Parish Council. During the council meeting, a special presentation was made by Martin Gould, District 5 Parish Councilman, and Patricia Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. I was deeply touched by the words on the plaque that I received:  “We appreciate your love for this state, (and) your service to St. Tammany Parish”.

As I was given the opportunity to speak, I couldn’t help but think of the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips. Along with explaining my message as the State Teacher of the Year, I spoke of the reasons why I have chosen to make St. Tammany Parish my home. I love that the arts are considered to be a valuable part of our community. From art festivals to outdoor concerts, you will find the arts being celebrated throughout St. Tammany Parish. It’s also incredibly inspiring to teach in a community with such a rich music history. From our Cultural Icons like Louis Prima to the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall, I am proud to keep that history alive as a music teacher. Lastly, arts education is valued by the St. Tammany Parish School District. I believe that commitment to the arts plays an important role in the academic success of our students. Because the arts are at the heart of St. Tammany Parish, I was convinced to “make this place my home”.

Stomps and Brister