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Teacher Leader Lagniappe

Author: Louisiana Department of Education

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Teacher Leader Lagniappe offers a little something extra for Louisiana educators. As educators, we are leaders - leaders of our families, classrooms, schools, teams, and systems. Host Em Cooper shares inspiring stories from leaders in Louisiana and across the country. You’ll hear from innovators, change agents, and experts that will empower you to grow in your profession. Teacher Leader Lagniappe is a production of the Louisiana Department of Education.
31 Episodes
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By popular demand, Dr. Brumley is back to chat with us again about Louisiana's State priorities, assessments, and the 2022 NAEP results. Em Cooper is also super excited to smile about Northshore Charter School, Hurst Middle School, George Washington Carver High, DeSoto, Pointe Coupee, and West Feliciana Parishes for their speedy implementation of literacy resources.
Rochelle Wilcox talks with us about what it means to value students, what makes a classroom special, and how to keep teachers around you motivated to go above and beyond for their students. She also shares how it feels to be the first recipient of the 2022 Louisiana Early Childhood Leader of the Year award. Lafourche Parish School System is making Em smile this week for being awarded a Louisiana Model of Excellence for science instruction.
We chat with Louisiana's very first New Teacher of the Year, Jordyn Vicknair. A graduate of Louisiana State University’s GeauxTeach program, she shares her journey through her first year of teaching, her love of teaching math, and the relationships she grew with her students. The graduates of Louisiana’s 2022 Aspiring Principals Fellowship make Em Cooper smile this week.
We chat with Dr. David Schexnaydre, a Louisiana-born and bred award-winning educator, about transforming schools based on student achievement, student wellness, employee engagement, and community involvement metrics. We also dive deeper and discover more Teacher Hacks that every instructor should have on hand.
Ethan Melancon is the Executive Director of Governmental Affairs and leads all legislative strategies for the Louisiana Department of Education. We chat with Ethan about his passion for his job, the legislative process, impactful workforce bills, and all the excitement from the past session. Also featured are new Teacher Hacks focusing on apps that make a massive difference in the classroom!
Sheena Lall, Director at Talent Development Secondary, talks with us about how growth and fixed mindsets impact learning in the classroom, the origins of the research, and how more school systems can adopt these practices that are sweeping the educational sector. Hear the debut of the Teacher Hacks segment to learn tips submitted by educators for easy things to improve your classroom.
Judith Rhodes, Ph.D., Professor of Research and Director in the Social Research and Evaluation Center at Louisiana State University’s College of Human Sciences and Education talks with us about school attendance in a post-pandemic world and how we can re-engage students and parents to improve and maintain overall enrollment. We also highlight a mentor teacher at Hynes Charter School.
We talk with Eric Hirsch, Founding Executive of EdReports, about all things dealing with the instructional review process, the curriculum landscape across our country, and why educators should implement high-quality materials into their teachings. Concordia Parish is highlighted for their summer learning program activities.
A discussion with Barry Erwin about his role with Council for a Better Louisiana.  Find out about the challenges our education workforce faces as well as how we can work to improve our recruitment, retention, and teacher culture in Louisiana. We will also highlight Tangipahoa Parish on how they are engaging their community and coming together towards a common educational goal.
Em Cooper interviews Amanda Jones, Teacher-Librarian at Live Oak Middle School in Watson, Louisiana. Find out Amanda's favorites as an award-winning Librarian, her journey to becoming a beloved educator, and why Librarians are essential for schools. East Feliciana is highlighted for the experiences they provide students on learning about various careers in their community.
Dr. Wendy Baudoin discusses the role of school boards and school board members, best practices for strong partnerships between boards and systems, how school board meetings work, and why it is important for communities to be involved in the local school system. Homer Junior High is featured during the What’s Making Me Smile segment for their implementation of accelerated learning.
Annelise Cassar Tedesco, Louisiana’s 2022 State Teacher of the Year, talks about the Performing Arts Academy she co-founded, the Arts Strong series she created, and the innovative work she is implementing with her arts classes. The Livingston Parish Virtual-Hybrid Program is featured during the What’s Making Me Smile segment for their hands-on, engaging experiences for students on campus. 
Bruce Chaffin, Supervisor of Human Resources for the Livingston Parish Public School System and President-Elect for the Louisiana State Association of School Personnel Administrators, shares insights on the role of human resources teams, personnel concerns since the pandemic, and strategies for recruitment and retention. Rapides Parish Schools are highlighted as the recipient of the Model Schools of Excellence Award this month for their implementation of pre-educator pathways.
Dr. Carly Robinson, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, shares the research and best practices school systems should use in their tutoring strategy this year to address unfinished learning from COVID-19. Haughton Elementary School in Bossier Parish is spotlighted during the What’s Making Me Smile segment for their fun and engaging instruction. 
Marco French shares how he transformed his school in Caddo Parish from failing to award-winning, the moment he was selected as state principal of the year, and advice for principals. East Baton Rouge Parish School System is featured on the What's Making Me Smile segment with their data happy hour.
Superintendent Bruchhaus shares how his system prioritized people, modified operations, and how their staff went above and beyond for their kids during a year of devastation.Haynesville Elementary School is featured during the What’s Making Me Smile segment for what they are doing to make school a positive, fun, and inclusive place.
Veneeth Iyengar shares the access, affordability, and literacy strategies being implemented by the Louisiana Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity to eliminate the digital divide in Louisiana. Em Cooper smiles this week from the pictures of Boothville-Venice Elementary and South Plaquemines Junior High’s Breast Cancer Awareness event.
Dr. Ron Jackson discusses how workplace culture and employee engagement are more important than ever. He will share why and how leaders of systems and schools must prioritize fostering empathy and care in an inclusive, safe workplace. The SWAG at West Leesville Elementary makes Em Cooper smile with pictures of the positive, student-centered culture they have created this school year.
Dr. Burk talks about the literacy crisis across the country and the high-leverage strategies to improve literacy rates.Ashley Comeaux-Foret from Norco Elementary and St. Rose Elementary made Em smile this week with her students’ self-portraits. 
Dione Bradford shares her successes at Parkway Elementary School in Vernon Parish, reaction to being named principal of the year, and inspiration to educators to increase student achievement.Lake Elementary in Ascension Parish makes Em Cooper smiles this week with their strong instructional leadership team practices. 
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