On April 16, 2016, I had the honor of speaking during the Awards Banquet at the Louisiana State PTA Convention. The theme for the convention was “Abra-Cadabra, Alla-Kazoo! Let PTA Magic Inspire You!” As I walked into the banquet hall, I thought of “This Magic Moment” by The Drifters. With the fun decorations and the excited atmosphere, it was certainly a magical moment.
The banquet began with a welcome by the Louisiana PTA President, Reginald Coles. This was followed by Michelle Roy, the St. Tammany District President, sharing an inspirational message. Then, the attendees were treated to a delicious meal while visiting with the other members at their tables. Following dinner, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Bissonette spoke about the U.S. Army ROTC program and the qualities that they look for in their members.
Next, I spoke to the attendees about the “Magic of Music” where I shared my own story of discovering the magic in music. Over the past year, I have spoken a great deal about the music teachers that inspired me to also become a music educator. For this presentation, I focused on the integral parts my parents played in helping me along my journey to becoming a teacher. At the end, I shared tips for parents and PTA members for assisting the musical development of the children in Louisiana.
Following my speech, the ten teachers that had been named “Educator of Distinction” were recognized. While each honoree came forward to receive a plaque, information about each teacher was shared by Teresa Landry, the Tangipahoa District President. I loved hearing about the great work that was taking place in each educator’s classroom.
Then, individual awards were given to various PTA Units. I was extremely excited to hear Woodlake Elementary School’s PTA being called for awards for their website and newsletter. I know how hard our PTA works to keep our teachers and parents informed. The students are also thrilled when they see their pictures in our PTA’s wonderful newsletter.
Although there were many magical moments that evening, my favorite event was the announcement of the scholarship winners. The Louisiana PTA awarded four education majors a $1,000 scholarship. While the scholarship money was presented, Reginald Coles shared parts of their essays on why they wanted to be a teacher. While I found each of their words to be inspirational, I was especially moved by Brooke Mazac’s essay. In her essay, she spoke about her teachers trying to discourage her from entering into the teaching profession. However, she stated that “She didn’t just want to teach, she needed to teach.” I not only applaud her for following her passion, I know that she will be a great teacher.
As the evening’s events drew to a close, I was very thankful for this opportunity to be amongst such inspiring students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Together, we are making magic happen in our schools.