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Shandrick Tasby is pictured with a student in the classroomShandrick Tasby received exciting news last week. The Plantation Park Elementary teacher has been chosen as the LACUE Teacher of the Year for Region 7.

LACUE, the acronym for Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators, is an organization that encourages and recognizes innovation in teacher technology use.  Tasby is a leader in technology not only at PPE, but also in Bossier Parish.

He has trained the PPE staff and teachers at other schools in creative ways to integrate technology into their classrooms. He will be recognized in November at the State Conference in New Orleans.

Bossier Schools congratulates Shandrick Tasby.

Posted 10/22/18



Photo of LaJuana Stephens pictured with studentsSchool counselor LaJuana Stephens arrived on the scene at Plantation Park Elementary 16 years ago, and she has never looked back. She loves her PPE Ponies with all her heart and is here to stay.

“I love everything about it; the kids, parents, staff, administration. It truly is one big, happy family,” Stephens said.

They love her, too, and it is evident by the glowing remarks everyone has to say about her. One of Stephens’ colleagues calls her “one of the most encouraging, positive, caring and dedicated individuals I know. She is a woman that truly puts her heart and soul into her work and students.”

Assistant Principal Kim Hawkins says “There is not enough space to tell you about how amazing Mrs. Stephens is. She is my Partner In Crime (PIC). I can call her at any moment and she will come to my office to help me with a student in a heartbeat. She has an amazing relationship with all students and can help just about any student! She quietly does her job and about a thousand other things without expecting any praise or recognition.”

Principal Tonya Hilburn added, “When you enter the doors of PPE each morning, she is one of the first smiles you will see! She NEVER misses an opportunity to hug, high five and fist bump a child, and I mean she literally never misses a day! She has perfect attendance year after year because the thought of our students not having her for even just one day is unbearable for her! She is the type of counselor that instills in our students to not be punished by their problems but led by their dreams!”

After reading these stories, and 22 others like them singing Stephens’ praises, it is no wonder she was chosen as Bossier Schools’ Gold Star winner for September. The surprise announcement was met with much ado. Picture a school-wide assembly and red carpet runway; gold star-shaped balloons; children holding signs proclaiming ‘You Rock!’ and her family there from near and far, bearing a bouquet of roses.

Stephens did not know what to think at first, but was quickly moved to tears.

“I think when I saw my family that’s when it registered,” the Gold Star recipient recalled afterward. “I am just truly humbled. I think someone said it (the Gold Star award) is the highest compliment when it comes from your peers. You never know who you are touching.”

When asked what she loves so much about PPE, Stephens was quick to say “We’re all in it together.”

The positivity exuded at Plantation Park is something else that speaks to her heart.

“Speaking from a mom, you want to be somewhere where your child is loved, and they are loved here. They’re going to learn and they are loved.”

Stephens was also adamant about giving credit to two women in her life; her current and former principals.

“I have to give Mrs. Hilburn credit. She has really changed the climate and culture of the school and it is a team effort … and I will forever be grateful to Mrs. (Carolyn) Moody. I’m not from here and she took a chance on me and hired me and it was my goal for her to never regret hiring me.”

No regrets, for sure. As far as students and colleagues are concerned, LaJuana Stephens is as good as golden -- and now has the Gold Star to prove it.

“As much as they say I give to them, they give to me and I truly believe to whom much is given, much is required,” Stephens concluded. “I say even on my worst days, I still love my job.”


Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Bossier Federal Credit Union for sponsoring the Gold Star Award, which is now in its seventh year. Know someone exemplary that works for Bossier Schools and deserves a Gold Star? Nominate them by going to

Posted 9/20/18

Courtney Perry is pictured with certificate in a group shotThe Princeton Patriots are so proud of 4th grade Social Studies and ELA teacher Courtney Perry, who was awarded the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Pelican Chapter sponsored Perry and she was one of only two winners from Louisiana. The $500 grant goes toward helping Ms. Perry’s students and a special project that helps promote DAR in the community.

Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education.

Posted 9/14/18



Clip art that says  ApplauseThe LEAP 2025 test and End of Course exam Bossier Parish students took earlier this spring was no cake walk, yet 64 earned perfect scores in at least one of the content areas.

Those acing the English Language Arts portion of the LEAP 2025 in grades third through eighth are: Colin Herndon, Chloe Kelly, George Latimer, Annabeth Vogler, Abigail Petermann and Hope Roundtree, all from Benton Middle; Isabel Dean from Cope Middle; Adrianna Rhodes, Greenacres Middle; Elizabeth Smith, Haughton Middle; Lakendre Pugh and Lydia Dellenbach, Kingston Elementary; Jade Betts, Plantation Park Elementary; Zoe Bayne and Gavin Deville, Platt Elementary; Madison Brogdon and Emma Turnbow, Stockwell Place Elementary; Annabeth Leal and Ana Scarello, Sun City Elementary; and Kalia Andres, Kenley Neal, Lyla Sobolak and Mackenzi Venetis, all from W.T. Lewis Elementary.

Receiving perfect scores on the math portion of LEAP 2025 are: Isabel Dean, Cope Middle; Lyndi Deville and Abigail Hutson, both from Stockwell Place Elementary; and Alexander Hunsicker, Kingston Elementary.

Not missing a single question in the social studies section of LEAP 2025 are: Venna Burkhardt, Cope Middle; Annabeth Vogler, Benton Middle; and Mitchell Roberts and Ian Knudsen, Kingston Elementary.

Those middle school students accomplishing a perfect score in Algebra I on LEAP 2025 are: Devin Ennis, Edgar Lopez, Alizabeth Mitchell and Katarina Shilland, all from Cope; Jackson Ballew, Trenton Campbell and Starsky Murrell from Elm Grove; Briannah Norman, Greenacres; Ryan Rimmer at Haughton; and Taylor Moran, who attends Benton.

In the English II section of LEAP 2025, there were 20 students making perfect marks. They are: Joel Cardenas, Jordan Danzell, William Dart, James Moore, Caleb Stutzman, Tierea Sudds, Avery Meeks, Ashley Parker, Nathan Selmer, Bhavani Tivakaran and Ximena Villarreal, all of whom attend Airline High. Also, Nicholas Frewin from Benton High; Emily Taylor at Bossier High; Destiny Boothe at Haughton High; and Ainsley Martignetti, Dario Cosic, Colby Grayson, Ethan Maynard, Sonny Reed and Diana Tunek from Parkway High.

Earning a perfect score in Biology on the LEAP 2025 was Cade Gaydon at Benton High; and the three students nailing every answer on the English III EOC (End of Course) exam were Cameron Abrams and Spencer Favor at Airline and Brianna Long from Haughton High.

This is a remarkable accomplishment and one Bossier Schools applauds each of these students for achieving.

Posted 8/27/18

Photo of teacher hugging School Resource Officer as he holds Star of Valor awardThe first day of school for Plantation Park Elementary kindergarten teacher Lindsay Burns is one she will never forget, nor will Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Chris Slopak.  

Burns had not had the chance to eat, so during quiet time she popped a piece of fruit in her mouth. When it became lodged in her throat, Burns ran out into the hallway, not wanting to cause panic among her young students. Enter SRO Slopak, who was filling in at Plantation Park. He was only days on the job as a School Resource Officer for Bossier Schools.

“I was here at the right time and the right place,” Slopak later said.

He immediately sprang into action and after performing the Heimlich maneuver on Burns, he was able to dislodge the obstruction. The kindergarten teacher credits this valiant deputy for saving her life.

“I feel thankful that he was there for me … he saved my life,” Burns said. “I don’t think I would have lasted much longer had he not been standing there.”

At the August 16 Bossier Parish School Board meeting, SRO Slopak was given the Award of Excellence medal, showing visible emotion when Burns was given the honor to hang it around his neck. Days later, Deputy Slopak was the center of attention at a surprise assembly at Plantation Park, where Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington bestowed the Star of Valor award to him.

The Star of Valor is the highest award presented by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and SRO Slopak was the first to receive it this year. Sheriff Whittington said he has only awarded it a handful of times, underscoring its significance.

Slopak and Burns are now bonded for life by the law enforcement officer’s heroic actions.

“When we put our uniforms on every day, we’re not thinking about that type of scenario, though we are trained for those situations,” Deputy Slopak said. “We’re more on a high alert, always trying to be aware of our surroundings. This is just part of the job that comes with it, and I’m just glad I was here when I was.”

Posted 8/21/18