LAFAYETTE — Sixteen teachers selected as finalists from a pool of nearly 600 nominees will be honored during the Lafayette Education Foundation’s annual Teacher Awards ceremony Jan. 17 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.

The “red-carpet” style event honors teachers at private, parochial and public schools in Lafayette Parish for their dedication and service to their students and the community. This year, the foundation received 1,600 letters of nomination honoring 600 teachers, according to a foundation news release.

The awards feature four categories and a winner from each category will be named during the awards ceremony.

The finalists are listed below:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FINALISTS: Shirley Baniewicz, of J. Wallace James Elementary; Trudie Lasseigne, of Cathedral-Carmel School; Lynn McElroy, of Woodvale Elementary; and Terry Richard, of Charles Burke Elementary.

MIDDLE SCHOOL FINALISTS: Lindy Blakewood, of Ascension Lower School; Susan Deshotels, of Youngsville Middle; Michelle Lakhotia, of Judice Middle; and Jane Vidrine, of L.J. Alleman Middle.

HIGH SCHOOL FINALISTS: Shawnessy Bloom, of Comeaux High; Linda Doherty, of Teurlings Catholic High; Holly Grefe-Andrus, of Lafayette High; and Cecile Mitchell, of W.D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center.

INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER CATEGORY FINALISTS: Jeanne Aguillard, of Early College Academy; Rachel Gaspard, of Paul Breaux Middle; Kimberly Kidder, of J. Wallace James Elementary; and Melinda Perrodin, of Broussard Middle.

The awards show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased by calling: (337) 291-5555 or online at: