Congratulations to Natchitoches Parish Students of the Year


By Juanice Gray,

Students of the Year for Natchitoches Parish are Nathaniel Young, fifth grade, Natchitoches Magnet School; Keara Nelson, eighth grade, NSU Middle Lab School; and Zane Harper, senior, NCHS.

Student of the Year.

What does it mean?

For most, it means a student who makes good grades, has positive conduct, is involved in sports or clubs, has activities outside school and is a well rounded person.

Student of the Year is that, and more.

They’re also funny, outgoing, happy, empathetic, organized, well spoken, sensitive and willing to do the hard work to get them where they want to be. Students of the Year for each school in the parish live up to all these credentials. They also did the extra work to compile extensive portfolios that included biographies, awards, community service, academic scores, leadership, photos and supporting materials. They also had to write an essay and appear for individual interviews before a panel of judges.

Supervisor of Welfare and Attendance Anita Dubois coordinates the process. “The competition was judged by a committee of nine, including educators, school district administrators, and business and community leaders. Students submitted portfolios that had to meet specific criteria specified by the LDOE. They were each then interviewed by the panel. Combined scores from portfolios and interviews were used to determine overall winners at each grade level,” she said. “Although only one winner from each grade level can move on to the Regional competition, all nominees are winners in our book.”

School level fifth grade winners are Brooklyn Richards, East Natchitoches; Alison Key, NSU Elementary Lab; Skylar Campa, Fairview Alpha; Braden Hardaway, Goldonna; Sarah Marbut, Marthaville; and Ava Holland, Provencal.

School level eighth grade Students of the year are Nicholas Egans, Natchitoches Jr. High; Kimora Hardwell, Natchitoches Magnet; Elizabeth Hightower, Goldonna; Abigail Rodriguez, Marthaville; Emily Penrod, Provencal; and Ariel Joseph, Lakeview Jr. High.

Senior level winners included Salem Johnson, Lakeview High School and Emilee Vaughn, NP Technical and Career Center.

This year’s panel included Reba Phelps, School Board member; Annie Oliphant, retired teacher; Katrice Below, BOM; Dennis Breland, NCHS Assistant Principal; Linda Page, Personnel Director; Carmella McCart, elementary teacher; Corey Poole, NPJ; Sarah Dyson Mallett, high school teacher; and Juanice Gray, Natchitoches Times.