In a recent ceremony where the top teachers from each of St. Charles Public Schools’ sites were honored, the overall district high school teacher of the year, middle school teacher of the year, and elementary school teacher of the year were named.
The 2022-2023 High School Teacher of the Year is Macy LaFleur. LaFleur teaches geometry and honors geometry at Destrehan High School. She has been a teacher for nine years.
“My biggest takeaway from this profession is relationships matter more than anything,” she said. “If you respect students, they’ll respect you. Along the way you realize while you hope they were learning from you, you were learning from them all along. Teaching has made me a better person.”
LaFleur said that as a geometry teacher, her course is one of the few core classes most students take regardless of their graduation pathway and post-secondary plans.
“Learning about my students, along with their goals and passions, is key to motivating them to succeed,” she said. “Some will become engineers, architects, or scientists, and I am laying the foundation for STEM classes they will take in the future. Others will become barbers, police officers, or chefs, and they may never use the content I teach beyond the walls of my classroom. Yet every day I walk into a classroom that is an organic representation of our future society, encompassing all the professions listed above and more. I am honored to help them become problem solvers.”
Annette Blanchard was named the 2022-2023 middle school teacher of the year. She teaches general music and instrumental music at J.B. Martin Middle.
“William Butler Yeats once said, ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire,’” the 26-year teaching veteran said. “Throughout my life and career, there has always been a specific group of ladies and gentlemen who ignited a fire for teaching and learning within me.”
Blanchard said her own band directors were her most significant influences when considering what to teach.
“These beautiful individuals lit a passion within me for music and a desire to share that gift with those around me,” she said. “The experiences gained under my band director’s expert tutelage drive me today to provide diverse and equitable opportunities for all my students to succeed in a high-quality learning environment.”
Blanchard said providing her students with an environment where failure is not just an option, but a given, allows them to learn valuable life skills for the future.
“I have seen many college students drop a class or a student give up on a project because it is just too hard,” she said. “Perseverance is key to success. As a teacher, I do my best to look for the newest, most innovative ways to ensure my students get the most concise information, most quickly and authentically possible. Even with over twenty-five years of teaching, I am looking for the one-hundredth way to teach the material. It means playing it one or fifty more times for my students. Like I always say, ‘You will get it. It may take you a little longer to get there.’”
The 2022-2023 Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Aimee Vedros of Allemands Elementary School.
Vedros, who is a literacy interventionist, has been teaching for 18 years.
“Education is the pathway to success,” she said. “As an educator, I am giving the ultimate gift to each student I encounter. I am passionate about giving each individual student the knowledge and love for school and learning to achieve success. I am their biggest supporter and encourager.”
Vedros said she always knew she was meant to be an educator.
“My love for children and the process of how they grow and develop in their educational journey has been a real passion of mine, and it remains true after 18 years in the field,” she said. “Just as my students are growing and developing in their individual educational pathways, I continue to look for opportunities to grow as an educator each day because my students deserve the best.”