Whispering Forest Elementary's Maureen Leonard, Fifth Ward Junior High's Christopher Oufnac, and Northshore High's Frank Jabbia have been selected as the 2019-2020 STPPS Principals of the Year.
“We are proud to have these deserving teachers and school leaders represent our School System and St. Tammany Parish,” said Superintendent Trey Folse. “They are dedicated educators who make a daily difference in their schools and are helping students become successful and productive members of our St. Tammany community.”
Teachers and Principals of the Year are selected based on their success with students and, for principals, their work to support teachers. Each year, one teacher and one principal at each level – elementary, middle/junior high and high school – are selected as the district level winners and move on to compete in the state competition.
Maureen “MeMe” Leonard, the Elementary Division Principal of the Year, has been the principal of Whispering Forest Elementary since 2017. She was previously the school’s assistant principal from 2014 until 2017. Leonard has created a culture of excellence at Whispering Forest, uplifting students, teachers, employees, and parents with positive messages throughout the school year. She involves all stakeholders through individual events such as literacy, math, and STEM days. She also worked with a teacher to begin a composting and gardening program at the school this year. She received her bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and her master’s degree from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Christopher Oufnac, the Middle/Junior High Division Principal of the Year, was appointed as principal of Fifth Ward Junior High in 2011 after previously serving as an assistant principal at Tchefuncte Middle School. He is active in the School System serving on the Pupil Progression Committee, a member of the Legacy Leader Cohort, and as past-president of the St. Tammany Parish Junior High Athletic Association. Oufnac believes teamwork and family connect people and he established the Fifth Ward Junior High Falcon Family at the school, leading to increased participation from all stakeholders. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of New Orleans, and a master’s degree plus-30 from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Frank Jabbia, the High School Division Principal of the Year, has been the principal of Northshore High School since 2013. Before his current position, he served as assistant principal of the school for seven years. Jabbia believes a positive attitude is the key to success at the school. He started a program at Northshore High called “Fantastic Friday” phone calls where he and other administrators call parents to discuss good deeds, tremendous improvement, overcoming obstacles, and the difference students are making at the school. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University and his master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Jabbia was a Louisiana Principal of the Year Semi-Finalist in 2017.