Students from Caddo and St. Tammany Parish public schools walked away with Louisiana Student of the Year honors at a ceremony Tuesday at the Louisiana State Museum.

The winners are Jon Mitchell, a senior at Pearl River High School in Pearl River, and Safa Michigan, an eighth-grader at Caddo Middle Magnet School, and Ceara Johnson, a fifth-grader at South Highlands Magnet School, both in Shreveport.

The students were among 18 finalists who competed Tuesday from across the state. Six students each vied for student of the year in elementary, middle and high school categories. Fifteen students attend public school, while three attend private schools.

The students all started by winning at the school level, then at the regional level. They came with a lengthy portfolio of their work. The judges looked for signs of academic achievement, leadership skills, character, and service to school and community.