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St. Michael the Archangel High School biology teacher Dr. Anna Bourgeois, center, is joined by students Reese Robinson, Sarah Bowman, Jansen Bourgeois and Joe Cazedessus, from left.

PROVIDED PHOTO

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has bestowed its Distinguished Educator honor on Anna Bourgeois, a biology teacher at St. Michael the Archangel High School. She was recognized Jan. 31 during a Diocesan Mass at St. George Catholic Church.

Bourgeois also has been awarded the Lead, Lear, Proclaim award by the National Catholic Educational Association and will be recognized at the organization's 2018 Convention and Expo, to be held April 3-5 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bourgeois has been teaching biology at St. Michael for 16 years. Previously, she worked as a veterinarian for 13 years. She said the relationships she creates with her students are her favorite part about teaching.

“I most enjoy forming a rapport with my students; (it) allows us to have conversations that extend from just science into science and faith,” she said. “St. Michael has deepened and enriched my faith beyond anything I could have imagined.”

“It is clear that her intention is not to merely teach biology but to instill in us a necessary wonder and awe for God and His creation,” said Trey Parker, a senior at St. Michael.