Kiwanis member Andrew Dozier tells North Vermilion Middle School Principal Joan Romero she was nominated for Middle School Principal of the Year.
Erath Middle School teacher Joni Hebert learns she is a middle school teacher of the year nominee.
Educators learn they are top three finalist for Kiwanian Educators of the Year Award
Some tears of joy were shed when they learned they were selected as a top-three nominee for the first-ever Kiwanis Educator Award.
Tuesday morning, a group of volunteers from the Kiwanis Club and area businesses went to different schools in the parish pinning the top three nominees. The teachers, support staff and principals were unaware of what was happening when a group of strangers walked into their classroom or office.
Interim superintendent Brad Prudhomme attended every pinning with the Kiwanis Club and individually graduated each nominee.
“It is awesome that they are getting the recognition,” said Prudhomme.
Kaide Jumonville is a 24-year-old pre-k teacher at Cecil Picard Elementary. She has only been teaching for two years.
“This is awesome,” said Kaide Jumonville, who is a top three nominee for elementary school teacher of the year. “It means the world to me to know that my community backs me in what I have done. To be teaching for only two years and to get nominated is heartwarming.”
The top three nominees in each category, 21 in all, will be honored on March 31 at the Kiwanis Educator Award Gala. The top three from each category will be called onto the stage and a short video of each nominee will be shown to the crowd. Then the winner will be announced and presented an award.
The top three elementary teachers are Hannah Hebert of Herod Elementary, Kaide Jumonville of Cecil Picard Elementary and Dara Broussard of Dozier Elementary.
Hannah Hebert is a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Herod Elementary. She has been teaching a total of seven years, including four at Herod Elementary. After she learned she was nominated as a top three, she was shaken.
“I am speechless, and I am so excited,” said Hebert. “It is an honor to be nominated. I am excited that my work is being shown.
“It is an extreme honor to have an outside organization like the Kiwanis Club to honor educators like they are doing. I can’t wait to go to the gala.”
Dara Broussard was in the middle of teaching her class when everyone walked into the classroom to give her the great news. She has been at Dozier for the last 10 years.
“I am very surprised,” said Broussard. “It fills my heart with gratitude. Some times it gets so stressful, but it is good to know you made a difference.”
Abbeville High received good news Tuesday morning when the Kiwanis showed up to pin a teacher. Lacey Meaux was caught off guard after getting word that she was a top-three finalist.
“I am very humbled,” said Meaux. “I almost want to cry. I love my school, and I love my job.
“I am excited to be going to the gala, but I am still not wearing a prom dress.”
English teacher Laurie Broussard from Erath High School was nominated as a high school finalist. “I want to cry,” she said after the learning the news. “I love my job, and I love my kids. It is nice to get extra recognition.”
The top three high school teacher nominees are Lacey Meaux (AHS), Laurie Broussard (EHS) and Kelsy Sikes (EHS).
The top three middle school nominees are Jason Harrington (JHW), Joni Hebert (Erath Middle) and Malinda Roy (NVMS).
The top three high school principals are Tommy Byler (NVHS), Marc Turner (EHS) and Belisa Smith (EHS).
The top middle school principals are Joan Romero (NVMS), Dana Primeaux (JHW) and Wendy Stoute (EMS).
The top elementary principals are Lysonia Robertson (Herod), Elizabeth Bearb (Herod) and Rachelle Brown (LeBlanc).
The top three support workers nominated are Verna Broussard (Jesse Owens), Paula Duhon (EMS) and Tiffany Roche (Herod).
Roché is the bookkeeper at Herod, but she wears many hats at the school.
“I can not express how I feel right now. I am very thankful that people considered me for this award,” said Roché.
There will be limited seating and tickets for the gala are on sale at three different locations for $10. They can be purchased at Melancon Jewelers (in Abbeville), Guidry’s Eyeware (in Abbeville) and Ray Chevrolet (in Abbeville).