One St. Charles Parish Public Schools educator will spend the 2022-2023 school year advocating for his chosen education initiative after he was awarded the 2022 Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship.
Brian Gough said he was surprised to be chosen for the honor, but that he could not be more excited.
Gough has been an educator for 26 years and most recently has served as the administrative monitor at the Satellite Center. During his time in education, Gough has taught a variety of subjects from pre-k to 12th grade, created the interactive media program at the Satellite Center, acted as a systems analyst for the SCPPS ITS Department, technology coordinator for Hahnville High School and Luling Elementary and as the SCPPS webmaster.
Throughout his time in education, a Louisiana Department of Education official said, Gough has built a reputation as an innovator in the classroom who promotes creative confidence, human centered design and looks at failure as an opportunity to iterate.
In addition to teaching, Gough co-created the Satellite Center Video and Animation Festival, which has given a creative outlet for 1000+ students across 10 parishes for a decade; co-created the Linked Online Learners program in 2020, which connects students around the world 4 times a week; organized the Destrehan Wildcat Robotics face shield program which provided PPE to the medical community in the early months of Covid-19; is a member of the Adobe Education Leaders cohort which connects K-12 and postsecondary teachers around the world; and continues to speak at education conferences around the nation.
Gough received his Bachelors of Science in Education from Louisiana Tech University and earned his Masters in Educational Leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University. Last week he was announced as the winner of the fellowship at the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2022 Teacher Leader Summit. Winners are chosen from the previous year’s list of Louisiana Teacher of the Year Semifinalists and Finalists.
“I remember hearing about the fellowship last year but I really didn’t know too much about it,” Gough, a 2022 Teacher of Year semifinalist for the state, said. “I was very surprised when my name was called.”
The fellowship program allows recipients to spend a school year advocating for an education initiative of their choosing – initiatives that are aligned to the department’s priorities. Gough’s fellowship initiative is focused on researching best practices for industry recruitment for internship programs. The goal of his research is to provide schools with tools for promoting internships with industry partners throughout Louisiana.
“I remember thinking, ‘What would it look like if I could just build a pure internship class at the Satellite Center?’” he remembers.
Gough said that idea catapulted him to take one of his classes and work with fellow district employees to find companies who would be willing to partner with the school system for internship opportunities. He said he leaned heavily on Satellite Center alumni in the beginning to start the program, but hopes that the fellowship opportunity leads to an expansion of offerings.
“What we’ve done is sort of like pre-internships … just some long-range job shadows,” Gough said, adding that hopes his research and work over the next school year will lead to viable internship programs at local high schools. “I’ll be doing a lot of research and having a lot of discussions developing of a system that can be used locally and then hopefully replicated other places.”
In addition to the fellowship, Gough will also have a new position starting in the fall within SCPPS – he will serve as assistant principal at Luling Elementary.
“It’s where I started my career in St. Charles Parish as a PE teacher 25 years ago,” he said. “I’ll still have my connection to the career world, but I’m going back to my roots.”