NATCHITOCHES – More than 350 high school students interested in pursuing careers in education attended the Educator’s Rising Louisiana Conference at Northwestern State University Wednesday. Participants heard from speakers, participated in workshops and competitions and browsed vendors to learn about topics that addressed anti-bullying, using technology, awareness of social issues and degree programs at NSU.
Keynote speaker Dr. Leslie Blanchard, executive director of the Leadership Development Institute at Louisiana State University, opened the conference by addressing several misconceptions about teaching and the negative feedback that young people often receive when they express a desire to go into teaching. Blanchard encouraged students to find the common ground in what they love, what they are good at, what the world needs and what they will get paid.
“I think it was a fantastic event so many students came out to learn about becoming an educator,” said Jessie Church, event chair. “They seem to really enjoy all of the session speakers and the competition judges said that the students were very prepared and amazing with her presentations.
Competition winners were as follows.
Educators Rising Moment – Jadyn Brunk, Brame Midddle School, first place; Charles Washington, Neville High School, second place, and Carson Savoie, Barbe High School, third place.
Public Speaking – Andrea Hernandez, Wossman High School, first place; Audrey Livigni, Neville High School, second place, and Trinity Baugh, Alexandria Senior High, third place.
Creative Lecture – Kaylee Raper, Brame Middle School, first place; Zoe Noel, Beau Chene High School, second place; Braxton Michel, Southeastern Louisiana University, third place, and Trinity Baugh, Alexandria Senior High, fourth place.
Ethical Dilemma – Jalisa Garth and Raytisha Jackson, Wossman High School, first place, and Jenna Mullican, Kenzie Harris, Maddie Dowden and Katie Cooley, South Beauregard High School, second place.
Impromptu Speaking – Fallon Lincoln, Barbe High School, first place; Gage Simoneaux, Brusly High School, second place, and Zane McCaughey, Sulfur High School, third place.
Lesson Planning and Delivery – DeMarcus Washington, Wossman High School, first place, and Jasmine Crockett, Wossman High School, second place.
NSU has hosted regional EdRising meetings in the past, but this was the first time the state conference took place on campus.
Sponsors of the event include BOM Bank, Tony Davis, vice president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and District 4 representative; Reba Phelps, Natchitoches Parish School Board District 6 representative; Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana, Louisiana Association of Educators and the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Resources.
Educators Rising Louisiana, formerly known as Future Educators of America (FEA), is the non-profit student organization and/or class for middle and high school students interested in the field of education-related careers. At the national level, Educators Rising and Phi Delta Kappa partner to create a national network that helps students build resources and create connections that can significantly impact educational opportunities through co-curricular and extracurricular activities.
As a national affiliate partnered through LaSTOY (Louisiana State Teachers of the Year), Educators Rising Louisiana offers students, through school or individual membership, opportunities to participate in coursework and projects that assist and recognize educator practices through local, state, and national conferences as well as performance-based competitions.
More information is available at https://www.educatorsrisinglouisiana.org/.