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LATEST BOSSIER SCHOOLS DISTRICT NEWS

 

Photo of the 2018 Bossier Parish Students of the YearThree students received exciting news when Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith made personal visits to announce they had been chosen as the 2018 Parish Students of the Year.

 

Representing Bossier Parish Schools as the Elementary Student of the Year is fifth grader Ian Knudsen, who attends Kingston Elementary. He is actively involved in robotics, 4-H, Student Council and is co-founder of the Kingston Military Kids Club. Knudsen also volunteers with HUB Ministries and holds three Tae Kwon Do world championship titles.

 

Coming from a small town in Georgia, it is the abundance of extracurricular activities offered in Bossier Parish that Knudsen points to when asked why he loves Kingston Elementary.

 

“In Bossier, they have so many opportunities like robotics, archery, 4-H, cross country and being in the Regional Social Studies Fair,” he said.  

 

The Parish Middle School Student of the Year is eighth grader Starsky Murrell. He attends Elm Grove Middle School, where he is on the basketball team, in the Beta Club, plays soccer and was elected to the Youth Legislature Hall of Fame. Murrell is also in Bossier Schools’ Talented Arts Program, Destination Imagination, performs with the East Bank Theatre in Bossier City and is a greeter at his church.

 

“At Bossier Parish Schools, all the teachers are so encouraging and friendly,” Murrell answered when asked what he likes about the school district and why he is honored to represent it. “It just feels like we are a family in Bossier Parish.”

 

Nandini Tivakaran is Bossier Schools’ High School Student of the Year. The Airline High School senior is President of the Debate team, Team Captain for the History Bowl, President of the National Honor Society and Ambassador for the National Society of High School Scholars.

 

In addition, Tivakaran plays violin in the Centenary College Youth Orchestra and is an advocate for and Louisiana Regional Director of The Borgen Project, a non-partisan organization that helps third world countries by championing for poverty reduction, fundraising and legislation to aid the poor.

 

“It’s an honor to be chosen as a representative for Bossier Parish and all this community has to offer,” Tivakaran said after being named Student of the Year. “It is an opportunity to show others all the opportunities we have in Bossier Parish. It is an amazing honor.”

 

All three Students of the Year also maintain a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

 

Bossier Schools applauds each of these exceptionally accomplished students and is elated to have them represent the parish in the Regional Student of the Year competitions being held next month.

Posted 1/19/18

Photo of school busHave a love for children and vested interest in keeping them safe on their way to and from school?

Bossier Schools is looking for bus drivers. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have a good driving record, be able to pass a background check and drug test and a willingness to drive for any school in the parish.

The job does not require a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). If hired, you will be trained to obtain one. Drivers will begin as substitute operators.

Evening class dates and times are:

  • January 30 and February 1 -- 4:30 to 8 p.m.
  • February 3 -- 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • February 6 and February 8 -- 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.
  • February 10 -- 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Applications can be obtained and submitted by clicking here: http://www.bossierschools.org/applicantportal

Posted 1/10/18

Mike MattosWhile students in Bossier Parish enjoyed one last day off Monday, January 8 before heading back to school, educators were getting a big dose of inspiration and professional development from internationally recognized author and presenter Mike Mattos.

Mattos presented to every teacher in Bossier Parish, deftly guiding them on how to connect the dots via Response Through Intervention as an extension of Professional Learning Communities or PLCs. The end goal is to ensure every student’s needs are met on an individualized basis to ensure their success.  

A particularly powerful part of the morning session was when Bossier Schools Talented Arts Instructor Steve Porter spoke about a former art student whose aspirations were validated by an encounter with an employee at Moonbot Studios. Porter poignantly relayed how the student proclaimed it his “best day ever.”

Eight students, each facing their own challenges, then formed a beautiful tapestry from art pieces they created. The message? That each of us is an important piece of the puzzle.

Posted 1/8/18

Everywhere you look, holiday cheer is abound at Bossier Schools. Students and employees have been busy being Santa’s elves, making the season bright for those in need and helping others both locally and globall

Princeton’s FCA packed over 60 boxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, which will be personally delivered to Juarez, Mexico, by teacher Kathy Stanfield. She will be among a group from First Bossier traveling abroad to deliver the shoe boxes filled with essentials and goodies.

Bossier Parish 4-H partnered with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office knocked it out of the ballpark with its toy collection drive for Operation Christmas Wish. Fourteen schools collected nearly 550 gifts, which are being distributed to 175 Bossier Parish students. Those schools included: Benton Middle, Bossier High, Curtis Elementary, Elm Grove Elementary, Haughton High, Haughton Middle, Kingston Elementary, Legacy Elementary, Meadowview Elementary, Parkway High, Plain Dealing High, Princeton Elementary, Stockwell Place Elementary and W.T. Lewis Elementary. A big thanks to them!

Speaking of the Sheriff’s Office, schools also collected thousands of canned goods for Operation Blessing; enough to fill 400 food boxes. Stockwell Place Elementary, alone, built a mountain of food, bringing in nearly 4,900 cans to be distributed to senior citizens over the holidays. Way to go, Stockwell, and to all of our schools for helping fulfill our community’s most basic need.

Other schools collected toys for The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Hundreds of children will have presents to open Christmas morning, thanks to the efforts at Apollo, Benton Middle, Parkway and Platt.

Benton High's Spanish Club entertained patients at Shriner's Hospital with holiday songs and Jordan Myles' solo brought the house down! 

At Plain Dealing High, student organizations have been busy spreading holiday cheer. The National Honor Society collected more than 150 Christmas cards from the student body to send to military troops away from home this holiday. The NHS and 4-H club joined forces to gather and make nearly 180 cards for residents at the local nursing home and collect gifts for Operation Santa Claus; and the Student Council led a canned food drive.

Bossier Educational Service Center gave enough hats and gloves for every student at Carrie Martin Elementary and Greenacres Middle School cheerleaders hosted a holiday dance to benefit Toys for Tots. Students could bring a toy for admission or pay for a ticket to benefit the program. It was a merry success! The cheerleaders ended up collecting more than 200 toys and over $300 to give to Toys for Tots.

These are just a few of the many examples of the holiday spirit being carried out by students and employees at Bossier Schools. ‘Tis the season to be jolly and a blessing to others! 

Posted 12/20/17

Santa and his helpers made an early visit to Bossier Parish educators, delivering $30,000 in grant money to fund 14 innovative classroom projects and instructional materials.

For the fourth year since the Sydney Biedenharn Educators Endowment was established, the Biedenharn Foundation awarded checks to teachers whose grant proposals were chosen among dozens of others submitted from throughout the district. Most entailed enriching classrooms with technology, but also included resources for reading and foreign language, fitness programs and science labs.

The grant process was highly competitive. Thirty-nine educators vied for the pool of grant dollars. At a reception in their honor, Biedenharn Foundation Executive Director David Tyrone and the Board of Trustees were present to personally deliver the checks and congratulate the recipients.

Those whose grants were fulfilled are: Natalie Pope and Kristina Bruton, R.V. Kerr Elementary; Pam Lowrey, Sun City Elementary; Angi Reger, Legacy Elementary; Martha Maxey and Dr. Anita Szombathelyi, Cope Middle; Jessica Daigle and Lisa Lambert, Haughton Middle; Brandi Dye, Cope Middle; Robert Gallant, Greenacres Middle; Shelly Malone, Benton Middle; Cedric Washington, Bossier Middle School Virtual Learning Academy; Victoria Baldridge, Elm Grove Middle; Michelle Doolittle, Bossier High School Virtual Learning Academy; Alison Ferrero, Airline High; Kellie Harper, Benton High; and Taylor Freeman, Benton High.

After the awards ceremony, an old-fashioned Coke float party was held, which was a tip of the hat to the connection shared between the Biedenharns and Coca-Cola. Sydney Biedenharn’s family was the first to own and operate the Coca-Cola Bottling operation in Shreveport.

Biedenharn, who passed away in 2012, was an educator at heart. She taught high school for seven years before joining her father to work at the Coca-Cola bottling plant. Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith knew her well and said she would readily volunteer to substitute teach when needed at Benton High, where her children attended and he was principal at the time. In her memory, the Biedenharn Foundation established the Sydney Biedenharn Educators Endowment to benefit Bossier Parish educators.

Bossier Schools is grateful to the Biedenharn Foundation for choosing to invest in our teachers and the children they educate. The district is also humbly honored to carry on Sydney Biedenharn’s legacy and love for learning.

Posted 12/18/17

Three Bossier Parish educators had an entourage of visitors burst into their classrooms today with exciting news. They are the 2019 Bossier Parish District Teachers of the Year.

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith came bearing bouquets of flowers and chocolate covered strawberries as he made stops at Waller Elementary, Elm Grove Middle School and Benton High School.

Brooke West, an eight-year educator who teaches at Waller, was chosen as District Elementary Teacher of the Year. A product of Bossier Schools herself, West serves on the school leadership team and has secured several grants. Her philosophy is “Great leaders do not set out to be leaders.  They set out to make a difference, not worrying about the role, but the goal.”

When asked her feelings about being chosen as the elementary teacher representative, West said “It means so much. You don’t do the hard work for the recognition, but this feeling is like no other. I don’t feel like I deserve it.”

Spencer Kiper, a seven-year educator at Elm Grove Middle, is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Enrichment educator at Elm Grove. He is also the recipient of numerous national awards, including the 2017 Ford Innovator Award Recipient and 2016 National Aerospace Teacher of the Year.

“With your help, I’m shooting for state!” Kiper exclaimed excitedly after Superintendent Smith named him the Middle School district winner. “It’s exciting to represent my school family. I, by no means, think I’m the best, but having the opportunity to elevate the best we have, both teachers and students, is amazing.”  

Chyrisse Moore, a 15-year educator at Benton High, teaches biology and physical science at the Advanced Placement (AP) level. Moore, in fact, developed the Biology model curriculum and serves in school leadership roles which include Chair of the Science Department; Literary Rally Coordinator and Student Council co-sponsor.  

“I am very excited and honored,” Moore said. “I love my job and what I do.”

“Being chosen to represent our parish as the District Teachers of the Year is a tremendous honor, especially considering we have approximately 1,500 educators in the school system,” said Superintendent Smith. “These three individuals are tremendous educators and will represent Bossier Schools superbly as they compete with other top-notch teachers from throughout the state.”

Each school in Bossier Parish elects its own Teacher of the Year, who then competes at the district level. Those elementary Teacher of the Year school representatives are: Chelsea Tarpley, Apollo; Crystal Ward, Bellaire; Stephanie Thompson, Benton; Keith Rhodes, Bossier; Ashley Huckaby, Carrie Martin; Gadwin Nardo, Central Park; Jennifer Tong, Curtis; Heather Poe, Elm Grove; Jade Boyd, R.V. Kerr; Jamie Jones, Kingston; Angi Reger, Legacy; Stacey Favor, W.T. Lewis; Cheryl Dixon, Meadowview; Holly Fisk, Plantation Park; Ann Long, Platt; Sarah Rhodes, Princeton; Shauna Marston, T.L. Rodes; Aden Williams, Stockwell Place; Carey DeLaune, Sun City; and Brooke West, Waller.

Middle School Teacher of the Year representatives are: Shelly Malone, Benton; Nicole Heban, Cope; Spencer Kiper, Elm Grove; Ashley Falloon, Greenacres; Gina Williams, Haughton; and Christine Fox, Rusheon.

High School Teacher of the Year representatives are: Steven Vrbka, Airline; Chyrisse Moore, Benton; Christal Carper, Bossier; Joshua O’Nishea, Haughton; Whitney Saucier, Parkway; Terri Scott, Plain Dealing; and Becky Trammel, Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning.

West, Kiper and Moore will now represent Bossier Parish Schools in the regional competition held in spring 2018.

Bossier Schools congratulates each of its Teachers of the Year representatives and wishes the 2019 district winners the best of luck as they advance in the state competition.

Posted 12/15/17

He may not wear a cape and mask and scale buildings or fly through the air, but Systems Administrator Kyle Lilley is definitely a super hero throughout Bossier Schools.

Content to work quietly behind the scenes, the job Lilley does touches every student and employee in the district. He is Bossier Schools’ technology guru when it comes to all-things- Internet related, digital devices, software, document cameras, network switches, the 3,000+ phones in the district … the list goes on and on.

The unwritten rule in the Technology department is if the field technicians cannot figure it out, it becomes Lilley’s problem to troubleshoot and work his magic.

“That’s a large part of being in Technology is being a good detective,” Lilley said. “We do joke that the hard problems of last year are completely gone and solved and replaced by even harder problems this year. It’s an interesting challenge from that aspect.”

“I often say (and truly believe) that Kyle is one of the most valuable members of the BPSB family,” Technology Supervisor Stewart Thompson wrote in a letter. “He is in schools, solving problems and coming up with new and creative ways to use technology in the classroom. Kyle is responsible for overseeing every aspect of our technology network. He oftentimes goes unnoticed behind the scenes, but his attention to detail and creative problem solving skills make him the go-to guy!”

It was Thompson’s sentiments and glowing nomination, as well as others, that led to Lilley being chosen for December’s Gold Star award and surprised in front of his fellow techies.

“It’s a fun little hobby that I get to get paid for now. Am I allowed to say that?” Lilley joked.  

A lot has changed since Lilley came to work for the district 14 years ago. It is like the difference between night and day.

“When I first started we were carrying around cases of CDs and things like that. And 14 years later, we don’t carry anything with us except for maybe a laptop. Everything is on the network.” He went on to add, “In Bossier Parish, we have 6,500 Windows machines, which includes desktops and laptops. We are now at over 14,500 Chromebooks just in the last four years. Every year it actually doubles the last year’s numbers.”  

The growth of the Technology department has also led to Lilley growing as a person. Those are his words. If someone had told him in school his job would require public speaking, Lilley said he would have quit. Today, holding faculty in-services is one of his favorite parts of the job.

“What I love the most about it is, It sounds kind of cheesy, but helping people do their day to day jobs and being that small part in making their day successful.”

On his desk is an impressive display of figurines from The Avengers, so it begged the question which super hero Lilley identifies most with.

“I think it’s the one everyone defaults to. Spider Man, because he’s not rich. He has super powers, but he’s not rich. If you watch The Avengers, he’s riding the bus. He’s not Tony Stark wearing the Iron Man suit or Captain America or Thor, god of thunder. He’s Peter Parker riding the school bus to school because he lives with his aunt in an apartment.”

That is Kyle Lilley in a nutshell. Not one comfortable to be the center of attention, he is content to swoop in and repair what is broken and, while he is at it, make things better than when he first arrived on the scene. Just like a super hero. Bossier Schools is lucky he is ours.

 

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Bossier Federal Credit Union for sponsoring Bossier Schools’ Gold Star program. Each month, a BPSB employee who exemplifies ‘the best of the best’ is chosen by an independent judging panel. Know someone deserving of the Gold Star award? Nominate them by going to http://bit.ly/2cZB4XX. The deadline to receive nominations for our next Gold Star award is at noon Friday, January 12.

Posted 12/6/17

It was hard to miss the dozens of Bossier Parish students, employees and their families ringing bells and manning the kettles in front of a half-dozen stores Saturday, December 1. They were spread throughout the parish, volunteering to help others in need by participating in the annual Red Kettle Challenge. Click here to see the photo gallery. 

Each year, Bossier engages in some friendly competition with Caddo Schools, seeing who can collect the most money in one day to enable The Salvation Army to “do the most good.”

This year, Bossier Schools won the Red Kettle Challenge, collecting $4,959.94 to Caddo’s $4,550.14. Together, the two districts’ efforts amounted to more than $9,500, marking the most money raised to date since the school systems combined forces to pay it forward and spread holiday cheer.  

“The Red Kettle Challenge has fast become a holiday tradition for Bossier Schools and one our families look forward to eagerly each year,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith. “We are proud to team up with our friends at Caddo Schools for a little friendly competition for such a worthwhile organization and purpose. We want to extend a special thanks to everyone who stopped by to put money in the kettles and assist The Salvation Army in helping others, and to our volunteers who jumped at the chance to spend part of their Saturday paying it forward to make a difference in the community we call home.”

Posted 12/4/17

Bossier Schools observed Veterans Day with much pomp, circumstance and reverence, honoring the brave men and women that have served our country and those that continue to protect the freedoms we have.

Central Park Elementary held an impressive Flag Retirement Ceremony as seen here https://vimeo.com/242185421?ref=em-v-share. There were also school assemblies where JROTC cadets participated in flag folding and POW/MIA ceremonies; band and choir members played and sung patriotic tunes; breakfasts were held honoring veterans; students marched in patriotic parades and Presented Colors at various community celebrations.

A particularly special ceremony at Rusheon Middle School brought out several veterans from the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, one of whom fought in World War II and will turn 100-years-old in February 2018. What an honor for students and educators to meet and greet these American heroes!

To see more photos from Veterans Day observances at Bossier Schools, please visit our gallery by clicking here

Posted 11/13/17

Students attending Bossier Schools will soon have the opportunity to take academic courses never before offered, thanks to a Dual Enrollment agreement the district has entered into with Louisiana College in Pineville.

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith and Louisiana College President Dr. Rick Brewer made the agreement official during a signing ceremony held November 8. Beginning in spring 2018, Bossier Parish students will have the chance to take online courses offered by Louisiana College and earn regular college credit prior to graduation from high school.

A few of those courses include Art and Music Appreciation, Finite Math, Civilization I and II, Survey of the Old and New Testaments and Economics, among nearly two dozen others.

“Our goal is to provide as many opportunities for our students as we can and this partnership with Louisiana College gives Bossier Schools the chance to do that,” said Superintendent Smith. “We are grateful to Dr. Brewer and his administrative team for working with us to make this partnership a reality to benefit the students of Bossier Parish.”

Louisiana College also discounted the rate per three-hour course to $100, yet students will pay less than a third of that amount. Earlier this year, the Bossier Parish School Board took action to absorb costs for Dual Enrollment courses and other higher learning opportunities so that a student would only pay $30. The reduced tuition offered by Louisiana College will result in a savings to the Bossier Parish school system.

"We are deeply pleased to partner with Bossier Parish Schools in this online, Dual Enrollment agreement," said Dr. Rick Brewer, President of Louisiana College. "The best and brightest students from Bossier Parish will be taught by our faculty in the rich heritage of academic excellence that distinguishes LC.  This is a win-win for all involved."

Posted 11/8/17