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Kerri Lee Honored as State Teacher of the Year Semifinalist

Kerri Lee, a teacher at Zachary Elementary School, was honored as a Louisiana State Teacher of the Year Semifinalist at the 16th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala held Saturday, July 30 at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

From left to right: Beverly Hill (ZES Asst. Principal), Samar Hantash (ZES), Hope Dewald (ZES), Kerri Lee (Honoree), Megan Noel (ZES Principal), Michael Chrestman (ZES)

Coach Lee teaches health and physical education at Zachary Elementary School, where she has taught since 2009. Several of her Zachary Elementary colleagues, administrators, as well as her family, were in attendance to support the honoree.

Dream Teachers, a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing and rewarding exceptional educators throughout the state, and the Louisiana Department of Education, partner to host this gala each year.

For the first time in our state’s history, the Louisiana Department of Education, in partnership with Dream Teachers, recognized and celebrated some of Louisiana’s most exceptional early childhood educators through the Early Childhood Teacher and Leader of the Year program. In addition, educators who have demonstrated excellence in their very first year in the classroom were recognized with the first-ever New Teacher of the Year program.

The event celebrates the state’s leading educators, recognizing teachers and leaders who are making exceptional gains with students. Their commitment to student success exemplifies Louisiana’s teaching profession.

The 2023 Early Childhood Teacher of the Year is Annie Richardson of Caneview K-8 Headstart in West Baton Rouge Parish; the 2023 Early Childhood Leader of the Year is Rochelle Wilcox of Wilcox Academy in Orleans Parish; the 2023 New Teacher of the Year is Jordyn Vicknair of East Ascension High School, in Ascension Parish.

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