Louisiana Department of Education Names Three √®Ŗšapp Parish Educators as State Semifinalists and Finalists


The Louisiana Department of Education named the 67 educators advancing one step closer to being named the state’s best. Of those 67 finalists, three are from √®Ŗšapp parish. 

"Having three educators from √®Ŗšapp Parish is such a testament to the caliber of people we have serving in our √®Ŗšapps and childcare centers. Advancing to this round is no easy task, and to have the state recognize their amazing work is exciting for us. I hope this recognition energizes and inspires these finalists. We are so proud of them!,” says Superintendent Jeff Powell. 

Becky Warren, principal of J.B. Nachman Elementary, has been named a Principal of the Year Semifinalist. Warren has consistently improved Nachman’s √®Ŗšapp performance score as its principal. For the 2022-2023 √®Ŗšapp year, Nachman earned an 86.0/B rating. The √®Ŗšapp has been recognized by the Louisiana Department of Education as a “Top Gains” Honoree since 2021. She’s been able to successfully lead her faculty and staff by implementing effective collaboration around teaching strategies and student achievement. 

William “Bill” Foley, teacher at Brame Middle School, has been named a New Middle School Teacher of the Year finalist. Although Foley is new to education, he recently retired from the Navy after serving for 37 years. He’s also a registered nurse and EMT.  Dedicated to student success, he tutors after √®Ŗšapp and coaches the √®Ŗšapp’s Science Olympiad anatomy and physiology team. He also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Northwestern State University. 

Michelle Queen, owner of Bright Beginnings, has been named an Early Childhood Leader of the Year finalist. Queen, who has owned Bright Beginnings since 1995, began working at the site when she was a student at Alexandria Senior High. She says she “never looked back” once she began working with children and their families. She is a mentor for other leaders in our area and her retention rate of employees is notably high. 

All semi-finalists and finalists will be honored at the 18th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala, which will be held at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on the evening of July 27.