St. Tammany Parish Schools Superintendent William L. "Trey" Folse III announced the principals and teachers of the year at the School Board meeting held Oct. 12 at the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.
Teachers of the year were Martha Boucher of Abita Springs Elementary, Wandra Vick of Brock Elementary and Marty Mangus of Salmen High. They were selected from the pool of 3,000 teachers in the parish schools system — one each from elementary, middle school/junior high (Brock has students in Pre-K through fifth grade) and high school divisions.
Top principals chosen were Gary Marlbrough of Chahta-Ima Elementary, Raymond Morris of Bayou Lacombe Middle and Christian Monson of Lakeshore High.
Folse had high praise for each of the honorees, saying they are "the backbone" of their respective schools and best represent the ideals of the school system.
"A principal lives the school system 24/7, 365," Folse said, referring to being constantly on call for their schools.
Folse was equally effusive about the top teachers, saying their passion is reflected best in the students they mentor each day.
"Teaching is hard, especially in these times," he said. "To have these kinds of teachers in our system is a wonderful thing. They truly represent the best the St. Tammany Parish School System has to offer."
The honorees were presented with handsome glass trophies set atop wooden bases to commemorate the award.
The winners' families attended the meeting, as did large groups of staff from each of their schools, which made for a packed board room at the Schoen Building. Winners made brief remarks to the audience and then were lauded by School Board members.
Boucher, who is a prekindergarten instructor at Abita Elementary, said she was "more comfortable in front of a roomful of 4-year-olds" than she was speaking at the meeting, but she successfully thanked her co-workers, school administrators and her family for their support.
Morris, who hasn't missed a day of instructional time in two years, said the award "may be the highest honor I've ever been bestowed."
A luncheon feting the top teachers and principals was scheduled to be held Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.
In other business at the School Board's October meeting, a resolution authorizing issuance of $25 million of general obligation bonds was approved unanimously. The money will be used to finance construction projects at Mandeville High School and Madisonville Elementary, which both have experienced recent enrollment spikes.
The board also named Oct. 16-20 School Bus Owners/Operators and Bus Attendants Appreciation Week and Oct. 23-27 as Red Ribbon Week in parish schools.