Dream with Me


On October 8, 2015, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System honored the District Teachers and Principals of the Year. The evening’s festivities began with a special reception in the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex Atrium. First, we were treated to a beautiful performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by students from the Talented Music Program. Then, Meredith Mendez, Director of Communications, introduced each of the honorees and shared information about each of our accomplishments. Next, Hannah Rice of Fontainebleau High School sang a lovely rendition of Jackie Evancho’s “Dream with Me”. This was followed by refreshments and the opportunity to speak with the other honorees. In June, I had the pleasure of meeting Nicole Burkes, Middle School Teacher of the Year, and Tracy Hoffman, High School Teacher of the Year, at an awards banquet for the American Petroleum Institute’s Delta Chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with these two great educators and hearing more about their amazing work in their classrooms.

Following the reception, we proceeded to the school board meeting. There, Mr. Folse spoke about each of the honorees and a special video showcasing each teacher and principal was shared. As my video was shown, I was in awe of the special moments that were captured on the film by Channel 13. I also loved seeing the videos of Nicole and Tracy teaching. Their knowledge and passion for teaching was clear in every aspect of the videos.

As Superintendent Folse turned his attention to the Principal of the Year honorees, I was just as excited and proud. My own principal, Ms. Lelia Parker, had been named the Elementary Principal of the Year. Ms. Parker’s boundless energy and dedication to excellence inspires all of those at Woodlake Elementary School. It was gratifying to see her being recognized for all of her hard work.

After the meeting, the faculty and staff of Woodlake Elementary School gathered to take pictures. As I stood smiling for the pictures, I thought that Hannah Rice’s song choice, “Dream with Me”, could not have been more perfect for the evening. My fellow honorees, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, and my fellow educators from Woodlake Elementary School are all dreamers. We each dream of “A world where every boy and girl has all they need to live free”. Thank you for sharing the dream with me!

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