St. Charles Parish names its Students of the Year

The Students of the Year: Cecilia Cody, Lyrrice Mwaghore and Gabrielle Abate.

Acknowledged for their academic achievement, citizenship and leadership, the St. Charles Parish Public Schools named its Students of the Year and recognized the honorees.

The 2018-19 winners are Gabrielle Abate of Destrehan High School, Lyrrice Mwaghore of J.B. Martin Middle School and Cecilia Cody of Ethel Schoeffner Elementary School.

The ceremony was held Dec. 6 at the AMC Elmwood Palace in Kenner.

Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker compared the celebration to the Academy Awards where students are recognized for being the best and brightest in the St. Charles Parish Public School System. Parents are like the producers with these students, as well as teachers, family and administrators serving as directors.

“Holding this celebration in this theater reminds me of another prestigious ceremony – the Academy Awards – where Oscars are given to those who excel in their field of movie production and acting,” Gomez-Walker said.

She added, “We are surrounded by people who deserve the credit for supporting these star-studded students,” including the moms and dads of these students. “Thanks to every person who help make their stories possible,” Gomez-Walker said. “You help them build their visions for the future.”

Tresa Webre, assistant superintendent for St. Charles Parish Public Schools, said the program is designed to recognize outstanding students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, leadership and citizenship. The program is sponsored by the Louisiana State Superintendent through the State Department of Education and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Twelve students were nominated for the honor of Student of the Year.

They were:

  • High school students: Abate along with Kamryn Ryan of Hahnville High School.
  • Middle schools students: Mwaghore along with Jordyn Dickerson of Harry Hurst Middle School; Emma Loper of Albert Cammon Middle School, and Asiyah Strickland of R.K. Smith Middle School.
  • Elementary school students: Cody in addition to Hannah Burst of Norco Elementary School; Addison Lemoine of R.J. Vial Elementary School, Cooper Matherne of Lakewood Elementary School; Sam Rockefeller of St. Rose Elementary School and Amyri Walker-Jefferson of Luling Elementary School.

School Board President Al Suffrin congratulated the students for their achievements.

“You have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, citizenship and leadership ability,” Suffrin said. “Thank you for being role models for your fellow classmates. Thank you for inspiring your teachers and administrators to continually push themselves to strive for the best. You are the best of the best and epitomize hard work in the classroom and community.”

To be selected as a Student of the Year, a student must earn a cumulative 3.5 grade point average and be in grade 5, 8 or 12.

All students of the year must compile a portfolio, write a biographical sketch and be interviewed by a Student Achievement Committee.  This committee has the responsibility of selecting the parish level winners.  Individuals serving on this year’s committee are:

  • Teachers of the Year: Hope Barnhill of Hahnville High, Stephanie Gullage of R.K. Smith Middle School and Jordan Vicknair of Luling Elementary School.
  • Community representatives: Shalinda Austin of Grace Co., Kaylin Parker of Entergy and Michael Sanders of St. Charles Parish Government.
  • School system representative: Jerry Smith, executive director of Student Services.


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