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Group photo of Elm Grove Middle School Youth Legislature participantsSubmitted by: Victoria Baldridge


The Elm Grove Eagles took flight and headed to Baton Rouge in mid-March on a mission: they were set to make their mark at the Boys & Girls Club Youth Legislature session for 2018.

Teachers Victoria Baldridge and Vickie Kleinsasser led the group of 29 students that worked incredibly hard in the lead-up to this mock legislative session, spending their afternoons working on bill proposals, writing and rehearsing speeches to be given in front of over 200 of their peers from around the state and learning the ins and outs of the legislative process.

Until last year, Elm Grove has been the only school from northern Louisiana to go. While the Eagles have always been successful, this year was especially great! Schools nominate candidates to run for Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and Governor of Youth Legislature. These candidates prepare speeches and campaign for the position, and the entire legislative body votes.

Elm Grove's candidate won second place for the House (Justina Vo became Speaker of the House pro-tem). In addition, Elm Grove had more bills presented on the floor than any other; more bills passed in the House and Senate (7 total between the two); more bills signed by the Governor than any other school (5 total); and more students inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is chosen by teachers and staff from all participating schools.

The Eagles also had the opportunity to meet Senator Ryan Gatti and Representative Dodie Horton. They each brought EGMS students into their Houses and talked with the students about what they do. It was really neat, because they were about to be in their own legislative session!

The big meet and greet was with Governor John Bel Edwards himself. He was very open to chatting with our students and they loved every minute!

Running this group has been such a rewarding experience as an educator and it is beyond anything I ever thought I would see the past five years. My students continue to surprise me with their interest and passion in this club and their love for our community and state.

Go Elm Grove Eagles!

Posted 4/12/18

Photo of Butler principal Reginald Williams with Jamie and James ProckApprehensive would best describe Jamie Prock’s bundle of emotions on her son James’ first day at Butler Educational Complex. Little did the Prock family know the next nine weeks at BEC would prove to be some of the most rewarding and they would develop such great admiration for principal Reginald Williams and his faculty.

“Kudos come far and few between for the faculty of this alternative school,” Jamie Prock said tearfully as she shared her family’s experience. “The entire school is a Gold Star school. You can’t even imagine the kindness and dedication every faculty member has put forth to our family. I came in and I was a bucket of tears in his (Williams’) office and he comforted me and he let me know that my son would be safe and he would be educated.”

Not only was Jamie Prock moved, but so were her husband and son, who wrote nominations for Williams to be named Bossier Schools’ Gold Star employee for the month of March.

“When my son made a mistake and ended up at Butler, we were afraid for his academics and safety,” David Prock wrote. “ALL those fears dissipated when we met Mr. Williams. It’s not everyday that a principal gives you his word of honor that your child is in good hands. He made himself available to our family and answered our questions and boy did we have questions and concerns. This man has made such a positive impact on our son and all of the students at Butler. I highly recommend Mr. Williams for this honor. His job is one of the toughest in the parish. He takes kids and sends them back to their home school better than they came.”

A recent retiree from the U.S. Marine Corps, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Williams became principal at Butler in January 2017, although he has been working in Bossier Schools for the last 12 years. His time in the Marines made him the perfect fit. Contrary to what some may envision after hearing of his Marine background, Williams balances compassion with expectations.

“We tell the students that BEC does not mean Butler Educational Complex. BEC means better educational choices,” Williams explained. “That’s what we do here and it’s something they can use here and they can use for life.”

He focuses on results, not excuses, and when Williams and his staff see students turn around academically, behaviorally and culturally, that is what makes them most proud.

“We’re not looking for the perfect student,” Williams said. I tell them ‘you’re not going to find a perfect adult, but we do want to see improvement.’ So, as long as we see improvement, we’ve accomplished our mission.”

James Prock accomplished the mission the BEC staff set forth for him. Before going back to his home school, he presented the product from his Senior Project to Williams as a nod to his Marine service; an American flag made from hand-painted red, white and blue miniature toy soldiers. He also shared these words:

“As a student at Butler we have obviously faced challenges in our lives. Some minor, some major. No matter what, Mr. Williams treats us with respect,” James Prock wrote before leaving BEC. “I will leave Butler soon and as crazy as it seems, I’m sad about it. The entire staff under his direction wipes our slate clean and provides us with every opportunity to succeed. They push us to be our best. The faculty succeeds I’m sure because of his (Williams’) leadership.”

Prock went on to say, “I wish I could nominate everyone at Butler. They are a true family, ready and willing to take in anyone in need. They support, push, reprimand and forgive you all at once. They are truly a GOLD STAR FACULTY, from the teachers, admin, custodians and SRO. As I prepare to leave and return to my home school, I will be forever changed for the better because of the love shared by these educators … I hope to visit them as I move forward and always look back to what could have been a life changer in the wrong way to a life changer in the right way.”

It is with great honor and pride Bossier Schools congratulates Reginald Williams for being chosen as its latest Gold Star winner. The Procks’ testimonials are, no doubt, evidence that he and the BEC faculty are making a difference in our young people’s lives.


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

Posted 4/5/18

Photo of Spencer KiperBossier Schools is over the moon after learning Spencer Kiper, STEM teacher at Elm Grove Middle School, has been chosen as a 2019 Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist.

Kiper is the Bossier Parish middle school Teacher of the Year and advanced to the regional competition.

Now after being tapped as a semi-finalist, he will now advance to the State Teacher of the Year competition and be recognized in July at the 12th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration in Baton Rouge.

Bossier Schools congratulates Spencer Kiper, who is an out-of-this-world educator!

Posted 4/4/18

Destination Imagination logoTwelve teams from Bossier Schools qualified to advance to Global Finals in Knoxville, TN after a highly successful Destination Imagination State Tournament held March 3 in Bossier.

Volunteer teachers coached 51 teams from Bossier Schools, Elm Grove Middle School and Sun City Elementary hosted the tournament on their campuses, over 100 community volunteers helped and more than 30 high school volunteers from the Parkway High Beta Club and Haughton High School Red Jackets served as ambassadors throughout the event.

The tournament was especially meaningful as it was dedicated in memory of Emilie Gibson, a Legacy Elementary DI team member who bravely faced DIPG Brain Cancer last year.

Emilie passed away October 31, and the tournament focused not only on creativity and competition, but on helping to raise awareness and donations for childhood cancer research.

Over $2,000 was raised and will be matched by Louisiana Destination Imagination to donate to the Michael Mosier Foundation in support of research for DIPG.

Bossier teams were certainly up to the challenges posed to them at DI State Tournament. Not only did a dozen teams qualify for Global Finals, but several others placed in the top three spots in various categories.

Here are the results:
Bossier Teams Advancing to Global Finals:

  • Airline High School Improv Team
  • Airline High School Scientific Team
  • Benton Middle School Engineering Team
  • Benton Middle School Service Learning Team
  • Elm Grove Middle School Improv Team
  • Elm Grove Middle School Scientific Team
  • Haughton High School Fine Arts Team
  • Haughton High School Engineering Team
  • Kingston Elementary Service Learning Team
  • Sun City Elementary Fine Arts Team
  • Sun City Elementary Technical Team
  • W.T. Lewis Elementary Improv Team

Bossier Parish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Teams By Category:

  • Elementary Technical Challenge:  1st place, Sun City Elementary School
  • Middle School Technical Challenge:  2nd Place, Benton Middle School
  • Elementary Scientific Challenge:  2nd place, Bellaire Elementary
  • Elementary Scientific Challenge:  3rd place, Legacy Elementary School
  • Middle School Scientific Challenge:  1st place, Elm Grove Middle School
  • Middle School Scientific Challenge:  3rd place, Greenacres Middle School
  • High School Scientific Challenge: 1st place, Airline High School
  • High School Scientific Challenge: 2nd place, Parkway High School
  • Elementary Fine Arts Challenge:  2nd place, Sun City Elementary School
  • Elementary Fine Arts Challenge:  3rd place, Princeton Elementary School
  • Middle School Fine Arts Challenge:  2nd place tie, Greenacres Middle School
  • Middle School Fine Arts Challenge:  2nd place tie, Cope Middle School
  • High School Fine Arts Challenge: 1st place, Haughton High School
  • High School Fine Arts Challenge: 2nd place, Parkway High School
  • Elementary Improv Challenge: 1st place, W.T. Lewis
  • Elementary Improv Challenge: 2nd place, Legacy Elementary
  • Elementary  Improv Challenge: 3rd place, Apollo Elementary
  • Middle School Improv Challenge: 1st place, Elm Grove Middle School
  • Middle School Improv Challenge: 2nd place, Cope Middle School
  • High School Improv Challenge:  1st place, Airline High School
  • High School Improv Challenge:  2nd place, Haughton High School
  • High School Improv Challenge: 3rd place, Parkway High School
  • Elementary School Engineering Challenge: 3rd place, Princeton Elementary
  • Middle School Engineering Challenge: 1st place, Benton Middle School
  • Middle School Engineering Challenge: 3rd place, Elm Grove Middle School
  • High School Engineering Challenge: 1st place, Haughton High School
  • Elementary Service Learning Challenge: 1st place: Kingston Elementary
  • Elementary Service Learning Challenge: 2nd place, Legacy Elementary
  • Middle School Service Learning Challenge: 1st place, Benton Middle School
  • Middle School Service Learning Challenge: 2nd place, Cope Middle School
  • High School Service Learning Challenge; 1st place, Haughton High School
Posted 3/9/18

Group photo of Benton Elementary archery team photoThree Bossier Parish archery teams hit the bullseye and brought home the State Championship title at the 2018 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries ALAS tournament.

Airline took home the High School state title in the Bullseye, followed by Haughton in second place. Winning the Middle School title was Benton Middle, with Haughton Middle coming in second. In the elementary division, Benton Elementary claimed the title and bragging rights, with Kingston Elementary close on the Tigers’ heels in second place.

Benton schools swept the state titles in the 3D division. Benton High, Benton Middle and Benton Elementary were right on target to win the team awards. Bossier schools took second place honors across the board as well. Haughton High, Haughton Middle and Kingston Elementary went home with trophies for second place and Airline High and Benton Middle (Team 2) placed third.

Several students won individual awards as well. Aidan Haire from Benton High School shot a 293 and claimed the honor of Top Male Archer in the Bullseye and scored a $5,000 scholarship. Amber Long from Benton Middle shot a 290 and was named Top Female Archer in the Bullseye and also won a $5,000 scholarship. Tyler Pope from Benton Elementary shot a 291 and Eden Old from Benton Middle, a 290. They both took home a $2,500 scholarship. Emma Rutledge, a student at Benton Middle, scored a 287 and a $1,250 scholarship. Rutledge was the big winner, taking home another $1,250 scholarship after shooting a 289 in the 3D competition.

A number of other Bossier Parish students came out at the top of their game. Those rankings are attached.

Bossier Schools congratulates all of its outstanding archers, who are now preparing for Nationals and after that, hopefully the world tournament. They undoubtedly put Bossier Parish on the map -- right in the center of the bullseye.  

Posted 3/8/18

Group photo of students at Student Council conventionMembers of the Student Council organizations at Airline High, Benton High, Benton Middle and Greenacres Middle returned from the Louisiana Association of Student Councils (LASC) annual convention teeming with ideas on how to make a difference both on campus and off.

Hosted by Captain Shreve High School in Caddo, Bossier students were joined at the convention by approximately 1,600 additional Student Council members from across the state. Students heard from two keynote speakers.  

Jennifer Drake encouraged them to let go of any issues they thought were holding them back so they could affect change in their schools and with their fellow classmates. Kyle Willkom challenged students to embrace what is unique about them and turn that into a positive in order to become the best servant leader they can be.

The students also had the opportunity to work in small groups with other students from around the state and brainstorm on how to improve their Student Council and derive ideas of how they could serve their school and communities. Each student also participated in a service project.  

The members walked away from the convention with new ideas, new friendships and a renewed excitement for Student Council.

Posted 2/12/18

Photos of Patrick Neff and Cheryl CorkranWhen it comes to the most respected band directors in the surrounding five-parish area, Cheryl Corkran and Patrick Neff rise to the top.

Corkran is the Band Director at Greenacres Middle School and Neff is the Band Director at Airline High School. Both were elected as the Middle School and High School Band Director of the Year respectively by members of the District VIII Band Directors Association.

District VIII encompasses Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Desoto and Webster Parishes and falls under the umbrella of the Louisiana Music Educators Association.

Corkran has 35 years’ experience as a music educator, which has spanned from New Mexico and Texas to Colorado and Louisiana. At Greenacres, Corkran is credited for establishing a program worthy of Mustang Pride, working diligently to set the standard for middle school bands, both regionally and statewide.

“Ms. Corkran has earned many consecutive sweepstakes trophies as well as state-level awards during her tenure at Greenacres Middle School and for the last 25 years has demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt what a great musician, educator and person she is,” said James A. Willett, President of the District VIII Band Directors Association.   

Neff has been a standout music educator from the time he began his career at Many High School 18 years ago. He also worked in Caldwell and Franklin parishes, where he set the standard in his field of high school band programs.

Willett said, “Mr. Neff has taken the small bands of Louisiana and demonstrated an uncanny ability to create pride and enthusiasm as well as consistently motivating his students and challenging them to take it to the next level.”

He continued by saying, “Often, his bands in the small classifications have been competitive with the larger band programs at competitions. Expectations were high when Mr. Neff took over the much larger Airline High School band, but he has far surpassed our expectations using his knowledge, enthusiasm and abilities to earn two Grand Champion trophies for the Airline Marching Band, a first of many more to come for their program!”

Bossier Schools commends and congratulates these two top-notch educators for their dedication and passion shown at Greenacres and Airline. Being awarded Band Director of the Year for District VIII is just icing on the cake and music to our ears!

Posted 2/12/18

Photo of Jonathan McClain next to his dragsterHe may not have his driver’s license yet, but Greenacres sixth grader Jonathan McClain has a need for speed and knows how to burn rubber and navigate a racetrack.   

The 11-year-old recently won the Western Conference Finals Champion for the National Hot Rod Association Jr. Dragster series.  Not only does McClain have a huge trophy commemorating his win, but he also received a check for $1,500.  

He was recently recognized at Sam's Town Hotel and Casino at the National Hot Rod Association banquet. McClain was also featured in Jr. Dragster Magazine.  Click here to see him on page 14 and pages 26-29.

Being named national champion is most impressive and the Mustangs -- and Bossier Schools -- are certainly proud of their top-rated racer!

Posted 1/31/18

Photo of Rusheon Middle School teacher Shontell DavisT.O. Rusheon Middle School science teacher Shontell Davis will soon be doing a lot of traveling to learn how to make STEM learning more accessible for her students.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)has chosen Davis to participate as a Teacher Fellow in the 2017-18 Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy. She is the only teacher selected from Louisiana. Davis will participate with 26 other educators in a number of science, engineering and technology-related activities and professional learning opportunities.

As part of the fellowship, Davis will travel in March to Atlanta to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. Over the summer, she will spend a week in Los Angeles participating in a five-day workshop at a Northrop Grumman facility, where they will discuss teaching strategies for integrating effective and authentic engineering design practices in the classroom.

Davis will also take part in an immersive, 80-hour externship at another Northrop Grumman facility during the summer of 2018 where they will be partnered with an engineer/technologist to observe and experience critical workforce skills in action. Other web-based professional learning activities will also accompany the fellowship.

Bossier Schools congratulates Shontell Davis for this tremendous honor and professional development opportunity. The Rusheon Rams are certainly excited about the knowledge and innovative ideas Davis will bring back to the classroom.

Posted 1/31/18

Photo of Chad Patterson accepting award.Cope Middle School’s Chad Patterson took center stage at The Arc of Louisiana’s 2017 Annual Awards Ceremony in Lafayette, where he was named Educator of the Year.

The award recognizes a teacher who has demonstrated excellence in teaching students with developmental disabilities.

Patterson, who has been employed at Bossier Schools since 2009, is a Special Education autism teacher at Cope.

Principal Judy Grooms nominated Patterson for the exemplary way he works with the children in his class. In addition to teaching, Patterson also coaches archery and softball for the Cougars.

Bossier Schools congratulates Chad Patterson for being named The Arc of Louisiana’s Educator of the Year. It is an award that is well-deserved.

Posted 1/24/18