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Two District Principal and Teacher of the Year Winners Named Finalists In State Recognition Programs

Principal Patrick Mackin of Slidell Junior High and Robin Day, a teacher at Little Oak Middle School in Slidell, have both been named as state finalists in their respective recognition programs conducted by the Louisiana State Department of Education for 2015.

Mackin is one of ten finalists in the Louisiana State 2015 Principal of the Year program, and Ms. Day, a fourth grade teacher of English Language Arts and Social Studies, is a finalist in the state’s Teacher of the Year program. The State Department of Education will name the winners on July 12, 2014, at a special reception in Baton Rouge.

Earlier this year Mackin was selected District Principal of the Year for St. Tammany Parish in the middle school/junior high school division, and Ms. Day was chosen District Teacher of the Year for St. Tammany in the middle school/junior high division.

“We congratulate these outstanding educators for being selected state finalists and are proud to have them represent St. Tammany Parish Public Schools in the state competition in July. They are great examples of the difference teachers and school leaders can make in their schools and community,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

The Louisiana Department of Education’s Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year programs evaluate nominees from each School System across the state to select semi-finalists. After conducting visits to the semi-finalists schools, judges select ten finalists.

The Finalists will be interviewed in Baton Rouge before final selection of the state winner. The awards and recognition banquet at which the state winners will be named is the annual Cecil J Picard Educator Excellence Symposium at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center.

The other two St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s District Teachers of the Year are Valarie Cyprian of Madisonville Elementary (elementary division winner) and Cheryl Williams of Mandeville High School (high school division winner). This year’s other two Principal of the Year District winners are Gary Marlbrough of Chahta-Ima Elementary (elementary division winner) and Johnny Vitrano of Fontainebleau High (high school division winner.)

“Our district teachers and principals of the year are role models in their schools and demonstrate the dedication and hard work it takes for our students and schools to be successful,” said Superintendent Folse.

Principals of the Year and Teachers of the Year are selected on three criteria, (1) significant positive impact on student growth, (2) rigorous instructional practices and support, and (3) the ability to communicate clear, compelling, student- focused messages. The decision is based, in part, on submitted videos, observations, and an essay, as well as student performance data.

Mr. Mackin was recognized for his instructional leadership, goal-setting, collaboration, curriculum adjustment, and assessment of student performance. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond with a Master’s of Education Degree in 1995 and has served as Slidell Jr. High’s principal since 2009. Prior to that, he was Assistant Principal at Carolyn Park Middle School in Slidell.

Ms. Day graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in 1982. She has taught fourth grade at Little Oak Middle School since 1983. She is involved in several professional and community organizations including the Northshore Reading Council, Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association and Ozone Camellia Club. She also serves as Northshore High Cheerleader Sponsor and sponsor of the Northshore High student internship program.

A St. Tammany teacher since 2006, Ms. Cyprian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. She currently teaches second grade at Madisonville Elementary School, having previously served at Abita Springs Elementary as a para-educator. She is actively involved with the Madisonville Elementary School Sunshine Committee and Abita Springs Middle School Summer Camp.

Ms. Williams has been a teacher for 17 years. For the past ten years she has taught biology at Mandeville High. Before she became a teacher, she worked as a scientist for the Department of the Navy at Stennis Space Center. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biological Science from the University of New Orleans. She also coaches Dixie Youth Softball and Special Olympics athletes.

Mr. Marlbrough graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2011. Principal of Chahta-Ima Elementary School since 2012, he has also served as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Magnolia Trace Elementary School and teacher at Woodlake Elementary School.

Formerly Principal at Boyet Junior High, Mr. Vitrano has served as Principal at Fontainebleau High School since 2002. He has also served as a teacher and coach at Mandeville High, Brother Martin High and Holy Cross High. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Master’s of Education Degree in Educational Administration in 1993.

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