Two St. Tammany Parish Public School System educators have been selected as finalists in the 2015 Louisiana Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year programs held by the Louisiana Department of Education, which honor the most exceptional educators from school systems across the state.
Robin Day, a teacher at Little Oak Middle School, has been named one of 10 finalists for Louisiana Teacher of the Year, and Patrick Mackin, principal of Slidell Junior High, has been named one of 10 finalists for state principal of the year. The two were named District Teacher and Principal of the Year earlier this year by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.
They will be among the finalists honored at the annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium in Baton Rouge on July 12 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center. The announcement of the state winners will be made at an awards and recognition banquet that evening.
The school district selected Day as its 2014-15 teacher of the year for the middle school and junior high division. Day holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southeastern Louisiana University and has taught fourth grade at Little Oak Middle School since 1983. She is involved in several professional and community organizations including the Northshore Reading Council, Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association and Ozone Camellia Club. She also serves as Northshore High cheerleader sponsor and sponsor of the Northshore High student internship program.
The school district selected Mackin as its principal of the year for the middle and junior high school division. Mackin holds a master’s degree in education from Southeastern Louisiana University and has been principal of Slidell Junior High School since 2009. Prior to that, he was assistant principal at Carolyn Park Middle School in Slidell.
The other district winners are teachers Valarie Cyprian, of Madisonville Elementary School, and Cheryl Williams, of Mandeville High School.
Cyprian holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southeastern Louisiana University, and has taught in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools since 2006. She currently teaches second grade at Madisonville Elementary School. She previously worked at Abita Springs Elementary as a para-educator. She is actively involved with the Madisonville Elementary School Sunshine Committee, Holmeville Missionary Baptist Church and Abita Springs Middle School Summer Camp.
Williams teaches ninth- and tenth-grade biology at Mandeville High School. Before she became a teacher, she worked as a scientist for the Department of the Navy at Stennis Space Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological science from the University of New Orleans and completed an alternate education certification program. She serves as sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and equestrian team at Mandeville High.
Other district winners are Principal Gary Marlbrough, of Chahta-Ima Elementary School, in the elementary division and Principal Johnny Vitrano, of Fontainebleau High School, in the high school division.
Marlbrough holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University. He has been principal of Chahta-Ima Elementary School since 2012, and has also served as a teacher and assistant principal at Magnolia Trace Elementary School and teacher at Woodlake Elementary School.
Vitrano holds a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been principal at Fontainebleau High School since 2002, and was previously principal at Boyet Junior High School and assistant principal at St. Tammany Junior High. Prior to his administrative assignments, he was a teacher and coach at Mandeville High, Brother Martin High and Holy Cross High.