Janelle Helmstetter from Bayou Woods Elementary, Edward Frederick from Lee Road Junior High, and Lauren Rhodus from Fontainebleau High were named the 2019-2020 District Teachers 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.
Janelle Helmstetter, the Elementary Division Teacher of the Year, teaches first grade at Bayou Woods Elementary. As a Grade Level Chair and School Improvement Plan Committee member, she is active in her school and works with fellow teachers and administrators to evaluate and continuously improve elementary school programs. Helmstetter has a passion for creating a positive parental involvement in schools in order to enhance the educational process. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Southern University.
Edward Frederick, the Middle/Junior High Teacher of the Year, has taught at Lee Road Junior High for 18 years. He currently teaches Louisiana history and junior high physical education while serving as the school’s athletic director and coach of the football and basketball teams. He believes in building student self-esteem through motivational opportunities both in and outside of the classroom. Frederick helped establish the FOR (Friends of Rachel) Club at Lee Road Junior High and serves as the club mentor. The club focuses on kindness, compassion, and respect among all students. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.
Lauren Rhodus, the High School Teacher of the Year, teaches English honors and Business English classes at Fontainebleau High School. She has been a teacher for 13 years. Rhodus is a Louisiana Teacher Leader, an ELA Curriculum Consultant for the parish, and a Virtual Academy Instructor. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Southeastern Louisiana University. Her passion for education extends beyond her classroom and into her community. She is a member of the Dance Project Alliance, a non-profit organization with a vision to provide arts education to students in dance and theater through scholarship opportunities to share quality national artists’ performances with residents of St. Tammany Parish and to further arts appreciation in her community.