Local fifth grader advances in Louisiana Student of the Year competition

Eleanor Zafirau of Ethel Schoeffner Elementary School has been selected by the Louisiana Department of Education as the fifth-grade finalist for Region 2 in the state’s Student of the Year competition.

Finalists were selected among student of the year winners from schools across the state. All Louisiana schools were eligible to submit one candidate, and students competed with their peers at the school system level before advancing to the zone and regional competitions.

All finalists will convene at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge on April 19 for an awards ceremony and the announcement of the Louisiana Students of the Year winners.

“These young people have worked hard and put in the sacrifices necessary to achieve at the highest levels,” State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley said. “Louisiana is proud to reward excellence. Congratulations to our finalists and their families on this well-deserved honor.”

Students are selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and communities. Regional selection committees also use student-made portfolios of accomplishments, along with student writing samples and interviews to assess the communications and critical thinking skills of each candidate.

Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee will conduct interviews and review writing samples and a portfolio from each finalist.

Zafirau has made her mark in the local theatre world over the past year by starring as the lead role in Annie, the Wizard of Oz, and Matilda. Her extracurricular activities include but are not limited to loads of theatre work, dance classes, basketball, and vocal and acting lessons. She has volunteered time with local charitable organizations, and at school she is involved in the choir, author’s club, and 4-H.

Zafirau is a talented theatre and music student and has been the recipient of many school awards and honors. She is a fixture on the honor roll at Ethel Schoeffner.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “I’m so honored. Even if I don’t win … I’m just so happy that I made it this far.”

Zafirau was surprised with the news of her advancement in the competition, as well as flowers, from SCPPS Superintendent Ken Oertling.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply