St. Landry Career & Technical ED Award Winners Open New Vistas

Brandy Ledet Education

A common thread that runs through the classrooms of the winners of the 2017 Career and Technical Education Educator awards presented by St. Landry Economic Development is their ability to connect with students and to help them apply instruction from within a classroom into life activities outside of it.

Winners of this year’s awards were Brandi D, Meche, Krotz Springs Elementary; Danny Soileau, Eunice Career and Technical Education Center; and Brent D. Boudreaux, Beau Chene High School.

Three awards are presented annually by St. Landry Economic Development “to support education and promote the importance of a skilled workforce and its importance to economic development,” according to Bill Rodier, economic development director.

In nominating Meche, Krotz Springs Elementary principal Ramica Robinson noted, “She has a talent for engaging students and making even the most disinterested look forward to her class.”

“She is exceptionally creative in her teaching approach while setting high standards for students and motivating them to … exceed established standards,” Robinson continued.

Several of her students, in a letter to the selection committee, said that “Mrs. Meche has introduced us to a whole new world of the career pathways that we could choose in our future.”

Soileau, a welding instructor, brings not only teaching skills to his classes, but also an “astute understanding of industry needs with regard to the work ethic and skill level that are sought in the industry,” according to Eunice Career Center facilitator Lisa Fuselier.

“His constant contact with those in the associated work fields is a great asset to him and his students,” Fuselier wrote. “This enables him to provide real conversations with the students as to what the industry is looking for in an employee.”

“Mrs. Meche has introduced us to a whole new world of the career pathways that we could choose in our future.”Krotz Springs Elementary Student Body
“My day is unlike any other teacher in the field of education,” Soileau said. “I don’t stand in front of a classroom full of student desks. I show up in blue jeans, a welder’s hood, and steel-toed boots, ready to give my students hands-on experience … while teaching them that hard work doing what you enjoy is more fulfilling than being afraid to get a little dirty.”

Beau Chene principal Anthony Keith Jones, credited Boudreaux for “working tirelessly to create, improve, and promote an allied health program” at the high school, keeping “constant vigil on the improvement of our course offerings, classroom needs, and instruction.”

Scott Glass signed a letter of support for Boudreaux as “a student whose life has been changed by the teachings of a great man.” Glass says he used emergency medical skills taught him by Boudreaux when a fellow student had an apparent heart attack.

“It is because of his training and teaching that I knew what had to be done to help save her life,” Glass wrote.

“Not only has Mr. Boudreaux improved our program [at Beau Chene],” Jones noted, “but he is constantly mentoring other allied health educators throughout the parish.”

Rodier notes that “in recent years a greater understanding has begun to develop about the role and concept of career education and training across Louisiana” and that it is receiving greater support through programs such as Jump Start, which provides training tools, and Journey to Careers, which provides a curriculum to help students see “the wide variety of work and career opportunities available to them” as well as to help educators provide the necessary coursework and hands-on training.

That new emphasis, “coupled with educators such as these award winners” can “not only provide St. Landry Parish with the skilled workforce it needs, but also help students find a career and develop skills that will make them fulfilled, productive citizens,” Rodier said.

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The mission of the St. Landry school system is to “prepare all students for life’s challenges by teaching them the skills necessary to acquire and apply knowledge to function effectively in a technological, multicultural, global society.