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Principals of the Year Named Among Much Fanfare

Three Bossier Parish principals started their week on a high note after Superintendent Mitch Downey surprised them with the news they were chosen as the 2023-24 Principals of the Year.  

Dr. Norcha Lacy has been named the Elementary Principal of the Year. Since taking the reins as Principal at Bossier Elementary School four years ago, Dr. Lacy is credited with changing the school culture and dramatically improving the School Performance Score (SPS). She previously served as the Administrative Assistant at Bossier Elementary, Instructional Coach at Waller Elementary and teacher at Plantation Park Elementary. 

“I am honored to lead faculty and staff who are committed to ensuring the success of every child that has been entrusted to us,” Lacy remarked. “Change has come and purpose is being fulfilled at Bossier Elementary!” 

Michael Pedrotty is honored to be selected as the Bossier Parish Middle School Principal of the Year. With less than two years under his belt as Principal at Elm Grove Middle, the school has made notable academic gains and bolstered community pride. Marking his 14th year overall in education, Pedrotty has served in previous roles as Assistant Principal at Haughton Middle, Instructional Coach at Benton Middle and Social Studies teacher at Airline High School. 

“I am very proud and extremely pleased to be named Bossier Parish’s Middle School Principal of the Year. I definitely view it as a reflection of all the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff here at Elm Grove Middle,” Pedrotty said. He went on to say, “We are working hard to develop the systems and structures that we know move students – that help up systematically identify every student’s learning needs and then systematically meet those needs. We’re seeing good results from the work we’re doing and we expect to see even greater results as we get better at doing the right work the right way. I could not be more proud of my team here at EGMS and am very happy to receive this recognition on their behalf!” 

Airline High School Principal Justin James received much fanfare as he was announced the Bossier Parish High School Principal of the Year. A drumline played outside his office as James walked out to a crowd of well-wishers. Now in his fourth year as Principal and 26 years in education, James was cited not only for academic gains across the board, but the incredible heart he has for the students he serves.  

“Being named Principal of the Year would not be possible without the team surrounding me and the wonderful teachers we have at Airline,” James commented. “Honestly, I am humbled because it's not me. Nothing that I have done. It's the assistant principals, instructional coaches, and teachers that have executed the game plan day in and day out. At a time when school systems were hit the hardest with the global pandemic, our teachers continued to show up and teach, and our administration team showed up to lead. Finally, the support we have from  leadership at the district level has provided us with the tools needed to be successful. I am so thankful to be a part. My role as Principal is small when compared to all the moving parts. I truly believe the best is yet to come and I look forward to seeing what our students and our staff will accomplish in the future,” James added.

“Each of these educators demonstrates incredible vision and leadership, which is reflected not just on paper but by the positive energy and relationships they have fostered on campus with their faculty, staff and student body,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “We could not be more proud of them to represent Bossier Parish in the coming year of competition.” 

The three school leaders now advance to the state Principal of the Year competition and will compete against candidates from districts throughout Louisiana. The statewide winner will be announced by the Louisiana Department of Education in July 2023 and will serve as Principal of the Year for the 2023-24 school year.