The backbone of Louisiana A+ Schools is our team of Fellows, a cohort of over 60 master educators including National Board Certified Teachers, Arts Specialists, Professional Teaching Artists, School Principals, Arts Organization Administrators, and School District Supervisors. Fellows provide ongoing, year-round professional development in arts integration to LAA+ Schools. Read testimonials about our training.
Henry Price - Shreveport
Mr. Henry E. Price has a B. S. Degree and a M. A. Degree in Art Education. He has more than 30 additional hours from various universities around the country. Several years ago he was selected to join a group of scholars from around the country to travel to the Italian Revera to study the Italian culture and Arts Integration. Mr. Price works with the George Rodrigue Blue Dog Foundation of the Arts as a founding fellow as part of the Louisiana A+ Initiative in the implementation of total school arts integration across the state of Louisiana. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the LAA+, as President of the Board of Directors of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and since 1995, he has worked as Supervisor of Art (K-12), for Caddo Parish Public Schools. Prior to the job of Supervisor of Art, he was the Assistant Principal at Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, LA for 15 years. Additionally, he is a visual artist who works primarily in acrylics. Some of his honors include: Recipient of the 2014 Southeastern Regional Art Supervisor of the Year Award presented by the National Art Education Association in San Diego, CA, Recipient of the 2014 Lt. Governor's Award for Art Education for the state of Louisiana, Selected to travel to Italy in March 2010 to participate in Arts Integration Through Experiential Reflection by George Mason University and Recipient of the 2002 Governor's Award for Art Education for the state of Louisiana.
Shelly Byron - Lafayette
As an employee of Vermilion Parish School District, Shelly is a first grade teacher at Cecil Picard Elementary. In addition to her teaching experience, she has developed and led Professional Learning Communities and District Professional Development in Vermilion Parish. Shelly was nominated for the Louisiana Association of Educators’ Teacher Image Award for 2017 and 2018. Shelly was also a member of the Louisiana Department of Education 2018 Teacher of the Year Interview Committee where she served as a panelist in selecting the 2018 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year. Her teaching opportunities included first grade at James A. Herod Elementary in Vermilion Parish where she served as the Lead Teacher of her grade level. She also taught first, second, and third grades at Alice Boucher Elementary in Lafayette Parish where she served on the Arts Integration Committee. Shelly also has a background in Dance and has taught the art of dance in a technical and school setting. She was a dance instructor and choreographer at Liz A. Trahan Dance Studio in Cecilia, LA for five years. She also taught Creative Movement for an Enrichment Program at Live Oak Elementary in Lafayette Parish. Shelly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Janet Wolfe - Shreveport
In February of 1994 Janet began her Visual Arts Teaching Career for Caddo Parish students at an alternative school named Bethune Middle where she held her post for eight years. The past sixteen years have been spent at Claiborne Fundamental Magnet Elementary where she works with all kindergarten through fifth grade students each year. Mrs. Wolfe has been honored with the title of 2010 Louisiana Art Educator, and 2017 Southeastern Region Elementary Art Educator of the year. In 2018 she was Louisiana’s choice for National Elementary Art Educator. Janet has also been asked to judge numerous student juried art exhibitions outside of her parish through her years of teaching. She is an active arts volunteer for the local Arts council in Shreveport, LA during events such as their main fundraising Gala “Christmas in the Sky” and the Students Showcase festival, :Artbreak” Being a Professional Development junkie, Janet attends as many arts workshops, state Conferences, National Conventions and Aplus activities as her time allows. Mrs. Wolfe has attended as a participant as well as a presenter for many of the above mentioned workshops including presenting Paper Pulp painting in North Carolina at their 20th arts integration Celebration and during in-services scheduled for the local art educators. She also participates in the annual Art Educator Exhibition and in juried exhibitions in other parishes and states. Janet started her University training at the University of Southwestern Louisiana which is currently named the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She then finished and received 2 degrees, one in the Arts and the second in Art Education at the Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Kelley Hobson - Shreveport
Kelley Hobson currently teaches fourth grade reading and language arts at South Highlands Elementary Magnet School in Shreveport. She has been teaching since 2000 in Caddo Parish and has experience teaching first, third, and fourth grade. Kelley moved to South Highlands Elementary Magnet in 2002 and completed her National Board Certification in 2009. While teaching third grade at South Highlands, Kelley was named Teacher of the Year and awarded State Educator of Distinction. Kelley was also selected by a BESE member and the State Superintendent to serve on the Louisiana State Standards Review Board Committee. She also presently serves on the Leadership Team and as a Teacher Leader at South Highlands. At the parish level, Kelley has served on a task force to create ELA curriculum guides for educators and as a mentor for new teachers. During a Caddo Parish principal’s meeting, she also presented how to enhance the current curriculum through arts integrated techniques and using technology in the classroom. Kelley graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Louisiana Tech University in 1999 and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Louisiana Tech University in 2017.
Lisa Breaux - Lafayette
Lisa Mann Breaux is a Dance Specialist teaching students of all ages and a wide variety of mental and physical disabilities. She has taught at the Jill Listi Dance Studio in Lafayette, LA for 10 years. A National certified dance instructor of Dance Masters of America in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Acrobatics, she also served on their National Board of Directors for a two year term and has been invited to teach Tap at their National Convention in Los Angeles, CA. Lisa volunteers with many organizations and currently sits on several Community Boards in Lafayette, LA. She is a licensed Speech, Language and Hearing Specialist having worked in the Lafayette Parish School System for several years. She is also the owner and operator of Acadiana Sign Gypsies, which highlights personal and business occasions/events. Lisa graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BA in 1977, and continued with graduate work for several years.
Vanessa Knott - Lafayette
Vanessa Knott is currently an Instructional Strategist at Carencro High School. She has been employed with Lafayette Parish School Systems for 23 years. Ten of those years were spent teaching English at LJ Alleman Middle School Arts Academy. Vanessa has also served as a master teacher for Visual Thinking Strategies where she was able to work with educators providing professional development in facilitating discussion of art that promotes critical thinking, language, and art viewing skills. She has served as the Art Liaison for Carencro Middle School and LJ Alleman where she worked closely with Acadiana Center for the Arts Education program to ensure students were given every opportunity available to be exposed to art in the core curriculum. Vanessa has been awarded multiple grants through Louisiana Education Foundation which centered around arts in English. She has been awarded Teacher of the Year for Carencro Middle School in 1995 and LJ Arts Academy in 2005. Vanessa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education 1-8 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, and a Reading Specialist Certification.
Mary S. Johnson - Baton Rouge
Mary S. Johnson is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has served as an Elementary Music Teacher in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System for 14 years. During her teaching career, she has been awarded “Music Teacher of the Year” from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for East Baton Rouge Parish and has attained numerous awards for her community involvement and service in East Baton Rouge Parish. Ms. Johnson has participated as an instructor for the EBR Elementary Music Camp (an annual camp to encourage excellence in honor music students) and adjudicated for Arts Festivals. Presently, Ms. Johnson is a Board Member and Chair of the Education Committee for Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and continues to heighten the musical abilities of her students at The Dufrocq School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Tiffany Jackson - Monroe
Tiffany Jackson is the coordinator for Master of Arts in Teaching and Secondary programs and instructor of instructional methods in the School of Education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She joined the university’s faculty in 2011 as the professional development coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching program. In 2015, she was promoted to the position of Project Director of the program’s newly funded, multi-million dollar, Transition to Teaching grant which she co-authored. In 2013, Tiffany was awarded the Best Practices Award for Excellence in Education by Generation Ready, the national educational consulting firm and has had the opportunity to share her educational expertise nationally and internationally. Most notably, she was invited to present a breakout session on professional learning at Jim Knight’s Annual Teaching Learning and Coaching Conference. Additionally, her presentations on teacher mentoring and reciprocal reading instruction were published in the Hawaiian International Conference on Education conference proceedings. In addition to her position at the university, Tiffany also volunteers to serve the educational community both locally and nationally. She serves as a trustee in the Twin City Arts Foundation, is the president-elect for the Northeast Louisiana Reading Council, is a member of Corwin Publishers Alternative Certification Advisory Board, and is the regional director and training and professional learning committee chair for the National Association of Alternative Certification. Tiffany has over 20 years of teaching experience in PK-12 and post-secondary schools. She has served as a child development center director, elementary school teacher and administrator, and middle school English teacher and literacy coach. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Jackson is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Grambling State University as she pursues her Doctorate of Education.
Emily Boykin - Baton Rouge
Emily Boykin received her M.Ed. + 30 from Centenary College and spent the last 18 years of her 32 year teaching career in Shreveport, LA at South Highlands Elementary Academic and Performing Arts Magnet. Her years as the drama teacher helped her see, first hand, the value of arts in a child’s education. Emily was an Academic Event Planner for South Highlands, being called upon frequently for her expertise. She helped plan and facilitate a two year LASIP Math Project for Caddo teachers, she was a presenter for the Louisiana State Mathematics Teachers Conference, and a Japan Fulbright Memorial Scholarship Recipient. She also planned and facilitated numerous workshops throughout her career for Caddo Parish Staff Development. In 2009, she became the first Education Director of the R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, and for the next 7 years she and her Education Staff created an extensive program for pre - K through high school students incorporating the visual arts along with music and drama into the museum experiences. She had the opportunity to participate in two Arts Integration Conferences at the Kennedy Center as well as trips to visit with education directors in museums in Los Angeles, Denver, and Charlotte. In 2016, Emily moved to Baton Rouge and became the Arts Specialist for Parkview Elementary. Her week consists of collaborating with Pre - K through 5th grade teachers to incorporate The Arts into the curriculum to add depth and meaning for the 630 students she teaches. Being an LAA+Fellow has given Emily the opportunity to continue growing in her knowledge and abilities as it reinforces and validates her vision for students and teachers across the state.
Julia Smith - Shreveport
Julia Smith, a current 5th grade Math teacher has worked in Caddo Parish public schools for over 29 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and is highly qualified in both regular and special elementary education. As a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, Julia works along other teachers to provide support to local schools and teachers through philanthropic activities. She recently presented at the Louisiana Association for Teachers of Mathematics conference on the value of Arts Integration and provided participants with ideas on how to get started in their classroom. Julia holds a Bachelor's degree in regular and special elementary education and has worked in both fields throughout her career.
Angie Roussel - Reserve
Angie Roussel is a certified high school math teacher who has been teaching for 27 years. Angie currently teaches Algebra II and Advanced Math at Lutcher High School in St. James Parish School District. Prior to this position, Angie was a teacher at Riverside Academy, one of the first schools to join LAA+, where she developed a passion for the LAA+ philosophy of education. While at Riverside Academy, Angie was the department head and math mentor teacher for grades pre-k through grade 12. She has served as a LAA+ fellow, as a math content specialist, since the fall of 2013. Angie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Nicholls State University and a type B teaching certification in mathematics for the state of Louisiana.
Rebecca Holmes - Luling
As an employee of St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools, Rebecca serves as the district Master Teacher of Music. Her responsibilities include music content and curriculum development, music content instructional coaching, and district professional development for enrichment content teachers. Additionally, she has initiated the district’s first orchestral strings programs. Rebecca was chosen by the National Association for Music Education to work with a team designing orchestral strings lessons featuring the use of primary resources from the Library of Congress- a project that will be shared with teachers nationwide the summer of 2018. In her sixteen year career, Rebecca has served in several districts in and around the New Orleans area. Her teaching opportunities have included instruction of traditional elementary general music, keyboard, classroom ukulele, classroom guitar, middle school vocal music, and orchestral strings. She has been awarded a district curriculum grant from Music and the Brain which established a K-2 keyboard curriculum component in St. John the Baptist Parish. Personal string instrument grants have included a gift of sixty ukuleles from Kala Brand Music, Co., thirty guitars from Little Kids Rock, and orchestral string instruments from VH-1 Save the Music. Rebecca is a cellist who performs regularly using the instrument’s versatility to explore a variety of genres. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Loyola University New Orleans.
Paul Boudreaux - Lafayette
Paul Boudreaux is a high school science and Pharmacology teacher at Lafayette High School. Having taught Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, he is also a Teacher Leader for Lafayette Parish. In 2013, he became a National Certified instructor for Dance Masters of America in Tap. A member of the Dixie Dance Masters chapter of DMA, he has taught many students the art of Tap Dance. He is currently on staff teaching Advanced Tap for Scott Academy of Dance and has choreographed several winning numbers for their competition team. He has also been in several stage productions including Sugar. Some Like It Hot and Miss Saigon and was recently heard tapping and singing to raise money for local charities. His combined passion for science and dance has led him to join LAA+ as a fellow in 2014 where he has shared many tap and arts integrated science lessons with teachers across Louisiana and Arkansas. Paul received his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and in Secondary Education from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is currently working towards a master’s degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction in Gifted Education.
Mary Harris - Shreveport
Mary Harris has served in education for 30 years and currently serves as the Principal of South Highlands Elementary School and as a Fellow for Louisiana A+ Schools. Degrees and certifications include Elementary Education, Masters in Counseling, Education Specialist, Educational Leadership, Reading Specialist, and National Board Certification. Mary has been awarded local, state, and national awards that include National Milken Family Foundation Award, Caddo Parish Teacher of the Year, Louisiana Regional Teacher of the Year, LSU Distinguished Educator Award, Joyce/Revenna Exemplary Teacher Award, the Louisiana Art and Culture Award, and served on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Mary is married to Keith Harris, a retired Battalion Fire Chief for the city of Shreveport and current Fire Chief for Caddo Parish. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Sharon Parker - Shreveport
Sharon Parker is a teacher of fifth grade gifted ELA students at South Highlands Elementary Magnet School in Shreveport. She has taught in Caddo Parish for twenty-one years, including thirteen years in her current position at South Highlands. At South Highlands, Sharon is Student Council co-sponsor and a member of the leadership team. Sharon is a former South Highlands Teacher of the Year and was one of three elementary Teacher of the Year finalists for Caddo Parish in 2016. She is an active member of the Alpha Kappa chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary organization for educators. Through this organization, Sharon helps support students in need, college students who are education majors, and educators in Caddo Parish. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Education degree with gifted certification from Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Cissy Whipp - Lafayette
Mary Francis “Cissy” Whipp has been working as a performer, choreographer and dance educator for over 30 years. In addition to being a LAA+ Fellow, she works full time as a Dance Specialist at J. W. James Elementary Arts and Technology Academy where she has worked since it opened in 2002. In 1999 she joined the John F. Kennedy Center’s roster of Teaching Artists and presents workshops nationally for teachers on integrating dance into the curriculum. She is the author of two professional development workshops for the Kennedy Center: “Exploring Ecosystems Through Movement” and “Exploring Symbols of Culture through Movement and Writing- West African Textile Art.” She founded Louisiana’s first professional modern dance company, Moving South Dance, Inc., touring for several years with Young Audiences of New Orleans and performing in France and Belgium with La Compagnie Louisianaise. She has taught for university dance programs at American University, George Washington University, Potsdam State University of New York, and at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Ms. Whipp has served on Louisiana Department of Education committees for developing arts assessment standards, for the revision of the state arts content standards and benchmarks, and for the development of the state curriculum for the arts. She received her BFA in Choreographic Design from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her MA in Performing Arts: Dance from the American University in Washington, DC. Ms. Whipp has been honored with the Acadiana Arts Award for outstanding contributions to the arts in Acadiana; featured in a public television documentary, “Listen Up! Conversations on Creativity”; and received the Dance Educator of the Year Award for Louisiana. Ms. Whipp continues to choreograph and perform as an independent artist, working collaboratively with a variety of musicians, actors, poets, and dancers.
Sherry Barron - Baton Rouge
Sherry Barron, Founder and Artistic Director of The Academy for Cultivating Creative Arts LLC, The Baton Rouge Homeschool Choirs, West Feliciana Parish Children's Chorus, and 30+ years has maintained a private piano studio. As a National Board Certified Music Educator, Sherry has worked as the Music Specialist for the Elementary Schools in West Feliciana Parish for 15 years. With a passion to share the beautiful art of music through a variety of means, Sherry’s professional organizations include: Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (BRSO) Education Committee Chair and Executive Board Member, Curriculum Coordinator/Foundations Teacher for Kids’ Orchestra, President of the Red Stick Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Ex-Officio Board Member of Louisiana Music Educator’s Association, Music Teacher’s National Association, Baton Rouge Music Teacher Association. She served as co-writer of the LA State Music Curriculum Guide (2007) and the LA State Textbook Adoption Committee (2011). Accomplishments include BRSO Music Teacher of the Year (2005) for integrating music with academic curriculum, Bains Lower Teacher of the Year (2006), and an Honorary Commission as an Educational Leader and Mentor for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (2005). She presents at various workshops and served as a panelist for the Cecil J. Picard Educator’s Excellence Symposium. Presented as Keynote speaker at Learning in the Country, in which 300+ educators participated in a daylong teachers workshop. She presented at the LA State Librarian Conference with her topic, Music Makes You Smarter- You Can Book It! Before her education career, Sherry was the Co-Producer for the television/radio broadcast of Kid’s Jamboree, an International Christian Ministry for children. Mrs. Barron holds a Bachelor of Vocal Music Education from Louisiana State University and attended Southeastern Louisiana University with a concentration in piano performance and also holds certification in Music/Early and Middle Childhood from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Jay Ward - Shreveport
Jeremy Ward is originally from Lake Providence, La. He Currently lives in the Shreveport/ Bossier area where he teaches drama for the Talented Arts Program in Bossier Parish. He previously worked as the teen coordinator for the Boys & Girls Club of Central LA. Jeremy also works as an actor, writer, and director that goes by the stage name Jay Ward. He has written several plays and has appeared in several films. He earned a B.S. in Speech Communication and Theatre from Jackson State University.
Bernard McPherson - Hammond
Bernard McPherson is a fifth-year educator who currently serves as the principal of St. Helena Arts & Technology Academy in Greensburg, LA. During his first year of teaching, he was awarded the honor of St. Helena Parish School District's Elementary Teacher of the Year. Subsequent to this time, Bernard served in the capacity of art integration specialist. In this role, he supported teachers with integrating the arts into their respective content areas. Prior to entering education, Bernard performed in various operatic and musical productions throughout the nation and abroad. A music educator at heart, Bernard continues to train choirs and individuals within his community. He has been commissioned at high school graduations, professional development seminars, and college campuses as a keynote and motivational speaker. Bernard holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and a Master of Music degree in vocal performance.
Rosemary Grimm - Arcadia
LAA+ Fellow since 2015, Rosemary Grimm has been an educator in Louisiana for 14 years and has experience teaching third through sixth grade. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She earned a M.Ed. in Educational Technology Leadership from Lamar University, conducting action research on the effectiveness of interactive whiteboards in the English Language Arts classroom. She is a certified Educational Technology Leader. Grimm has served as a Louisiana Teacher Leader, Arts Advocate, and Arts Implementation Coordinator for Turnaround Arts in Washington, DC. Grimm began her career as an educator for Claiborne Parish Schools. While working in Claiborne Parish, she served as a Louisiana Teacher Leader providing district wide professional development on curriculum alignment and the Common Core State Standards. She is currently a fifth grade English Language Arts teacher at Princeton Elementary School in Bossier Parish. At Princeton Elementary, Grimm launched the school’s first Destination Imagination Fine Arts Team, a STEAM program that teaches 21st century skills and principles. She serves on the Bossier Parish i3 Art Expo Committee and Bossier Parish ELA Guidebook Support Team. In 2018, Grimm was named Louisiana Elementary Teacher of the Year. Since becoming Louisiana’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, she has spoken on the importance of arts integration at several events including the Aioli Dinner Supper Club fundraising benefit, several Bossier Parish School Board meetings, and prospective educators at LSUS.
Melissa Shaw - Shreveport
Melissa Shaw is a Fourth Grade Science and Social Studies Teacher at South Highlands Elementary Magnet. For 17 years, she has taught First, Second, and Fourth graders in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Melissa volunteers her afternoons to teach third, fourth, and fifth graders the joys and challenges of Robotics. In addition to serving as their Robotics Coach, Melissa is also South Highlands’ Science and Social Studies Fair Director and has served as Grade Level Chair. She has successfully planned school-wide events such as South Highlands’ celebration for the 200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and co-chaired events such as the 2017 Solar Eclipse Viewing Extravaganza. Melissa has always enjoyed writing grants and has been the recipient of classroom grants targeting reading, classroom technology, phonics/gender bias, and home/community involvement. Melissa has served her school district as Co-Chair of New Teacher Orientation, Science District Team Leaders, Language Arts Textbook Adoption Committee, and Social Studies Curriculum Standards Focus Group. Melissa is an active member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international organization of women educators dedicated to educational excellence. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Louisiana State University – Shreveport. She earned her Master of Education with certifications in School Administration and Supervision from Centenary College. Melissa has accumulated an additional 30+ graduate hours with a focus on reading instruction and educational technology. Melissa was awarded her National Board Certification in 2006 and joined the Louisiana A+ Fellows in 2016. She was named Caddo Parish Teacher of the Year in 2019.
Jenny Burnham - West Monroe
Jenny Burnham has been the Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, Louisiana, since 2011, and has worked in childcare since 2004. Since becoming the Curator of Education and Public Programs, she has served as juror for the Art from the G.U.T. student exhibition, featuring student art from Louisiana Tech University, Grambling State University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She has also served as juror for the Ouachita Parish Talented Art exhibition, as well as a booth judge for Art Break, an annual student arts festival held in Shreveport, Louisiana, for students in Caddo and Bossier Parish schools. While at the Masur Museum of Art, Burnham has helped to initiate community programs run by the Masur Museum of Art such as Variety, a family friendly event featuring activities geared towards both children and adults, and pARTy 318, an event featuring visual art, music, and entertainment to bring the community together to celebrate the arts. She has also initiated relationships with the Cognitive Development Center in Monroe, making art readily accessible to those with learning disabilities, while also using art as a therapy tool. She also works closely with schools and community centers throughout Northeast Louisiana to bring art to students who may not receive art education in school. She is passionate about the arts, and wishes to see the art community grow in Monroe, as well as across the state. Burnham been a member and volunteer of KEDM, an NPR affiliate, since 2010, as well as a supporter of the Downtown Arts Alliance and the Monroe Symphony Orchestra in Monroe, Louisiana. Burnham received her BFA in Photography from Louisiana Tech University in 2009, and has been a Louisiana A+ Schools Fellow since early 2015.
Sandy LaBry - Lafayette
Sandy LaBry is a veteran educator who has designed professional development in arts integration for Lafayette Parish educators and teaching artists in collaboration with the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program as well as the Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian Institute. With educational and supervisory experience in English, World Languages and Visual Arts, she is a Founding Fellow with LAA+.
Tiffany Jeansonne - Walker
Tiffany Jeansonne is a second grade math, science, and social studies teacher at Rollins Place Elementary in Zachary, LA. She has taught in the Zachary Community School District since 2003. Tiffany received the honor of Rollins Place’s Teacher of the Year this school year. She earned her National Board Certification in 2007. Tiffany serves on many school committees, including leadership, AdvancEd, technology, and arts, as well as mentors Louisiana State University preservice teachers and new teachers to her school. She is a National Geographic educator, a Seesaw ambassador, and writes math, science, and social studies curriculum. She is in her second year as an LAA+ Fellow and enjoys integrating the arts into her classroom, as well as helping other teachers integrate the arts into theirs. Tiffany graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in December 2002.
Kristy Gilpin - Zachary
Kristy Gilpin has taught 2nd and 3rd grade in Louisiana schools for the last thirteen years. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher at Rollins Place Elementary in Zachary, LA. Kristy and her students were the national winners of the Disney Planet Challenge award in 2012 for their work to bring awareness to the community of the crisis effecting the Louisiana wetlands. Kristy is a National Board Certified teacher and frequent grant winner. She is a Nat Geo Certified Educator and Seesaw Ambassador. Both of these distinctions give her an opportunity to work with teachers and pursue her passions for using technology in education and developing students who are global citizens. Kristy has presented at conferences around the country on gifted education, science and social studies content, and most recently on integrating arts with content standards. She worked on a team that developed a summer reading program focused on research which highlighted the need for reading engagement during the summer months. Kristy has worked with teachers to develop curriculum in the areas of social studies, language arts, reading and science, being sure to integrate technology and arts standards. Kristy sits on multiple committees at her school and has been instrumental in creating and organizing STEAM programs, science and art summer camps and raising funds for professional development for fellow teachers. Kristy earned a Bachelors Degree from Louisiana State University in 2005, a Masters Degree and reading specialist certification from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2006 and is currently pursuing a certification in school librarianship through Louisiana State University.
Cindy Lassalle - Lafayette
Cindy Lassalle received her undergraduate degree in Art and English Education, graduate degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Gifted, and became a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescence Science in 2003. She began her visual art teaching by creating a co-curricular art program she designed for North Lewis Elementary School, while also teaching art at Epiphany Day School in New Iberia. Over the years she has taught art in public and private schools, high school English, gifted students K-6, technology classes for teachers, and bookmaking, altered books and arts integration strands at the Lagniappe Educators Conference. She also taught at an Art and Science Summer Camp for the Acadiana Center for the Arts, along with facilitating bookmaking strands for four years at the University of Connecticut Confratute Educator’s Conference and Institute She was a K- 5 art teacher at the Episcopal School of Acadiana and has taught there for 14 years.
Joshua Chambers - Bossier
Joshua holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Louisiana Tech University and a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. He began teaching for the Talented Arts Program after serving as a museum educator for two art museums in North Louisiana. He actively engages in the local and regional arts community by serving on the board of directors of the Bossier Arts Council and providing workshops and other services throughout the region. Maintaining an active career as a gallery artist, Joshua's work has been published in New American Paintings, Creative Quarterly, and Studio Visit Magazine. Chambers work can be found in Graphite Galleries in New Orleans, Ann Connelly Fine Art in Baton Rouge, and The Agora Borealis in Shreveport. His works are in the permanent collections of the Masur Museum of Art in Louisiana, the Lessedra Gallery in Bulgaria, and numerous private collections.
Melanie Alexander - Baton Rouge
Melanie Woods Alexander is an elementary music specialist at Rollins Place Elementary School in Zachary, LA. She has taught for twelve years in the Zachary Community School District. Melanie is a part of her school's arts integration team, school improvement team, and the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) team. She often helps classroom teachers with planning and implementing arts integrated lessons in their classrooms and frequently co-teaches lessons with them as well. Melanie holds both a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and a Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher in Early/Middle Childhood Music and a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
Brandie McNabb - Zachary
Brandie McNabb is a second grade English Language Arts teacher completing her sixteenth year of teaching at Rollins Place Elementary within the Zachary Community School System. Mrs. McNabb is a past Teacher of the Year, the 2014-2016 president of the Louisiana Reading Association, and a 2016 finalist for the Norman Saurage Dream Teachers Award for community service. She recently earned her re-certification as a National Board-Certified Teacher. Mrs. McNabb has presented at local, state, regional, and national conferences including the Zachary Reading Council, yearly Louisiana Reading Association State Conferences, the annual International Literacy Association National Conference, and National Council Teachers of English Conference. She recently published an article in the International Literacy Association’s journal, Literacy Today, on arts integration in the ELA classroom. In 2017, Mrs. McNabb earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a Reading Specialist Certification.
Kelly Stomps - Mandeville
Kelly Stomps teaches classroom music and strings at Woodlake Elementary School in St. Tammany Parish. During her seventeen years of service, Ms. Stomps has received many awards including Educator of Distinction from the Louisiana Parent Teacher Association, Louisiana Citizenship Educator Award from the Veteran of Foreign Wars, and the New Orleans Saints and Chevron “Teacher of the Week”. In 2016, Ms. Stomps was named the Louisiana Teacher of the Year, and in 2017 she was honored as a Louisianan of the Year by Louisiana Life Magazine. Ms. Stomps is the president and a founding member of the Red Stick Orff Chapter, and she is an associate organization representative for the Louisiana Music Educators Association. In addition, Ms. Stomps has served on the Educator Effectiveness Committee for the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). In 2016, she chaired the Louisiana Department of Education’s (LDOE) Music Education Working Group which reviewed the state of music education in Louisiana and made recommendations to BESE. She is currently serving on the LDOE’s Interest and Opportunities Working Group which is focused on “whole child” education in Louisiana. Ms. Stomps is a passionate advocate for arts education. She has spoken and made presentations for teachers, parents, policy makers, and community members throughout the state. Ms. Stomps has also served as a contributing writer for the Times-Picayune in addition to her blogging about education in Louisiana. Ms. Stomps has received a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music from Louisiana State University. Additionally, she has training in the Level One and Level Two Orff-Schulwerk approach to teaching music.
Shelia Ward - West Lake
Shelia Ward was invited to join Louisiana A Plus Schools as a fellow in 2018. She has been teaching for thirteen years and currently works as a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Cambridge teacher of mathematics at Lake Charles Charter Academy. As lead teacher, Ward also facilitates classes that help prepare teachers at her school for their content level Praxis examinations and leads professional development sessions for the other math teachers at her school. Ward was nominated by her school for middle school teacher of the year. Her previous teaching positions were in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. Ward received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and her Master of Arts in Educational Technology from McNeese State University, and her add-on certification in gifted education from Northwestern State University.
Rhonda Glass - Shreveport
Rhonda Glass has worked as the Caddo Parish Talented Art Coordinator since its inception in 2002. Prior to that, she served in the same capacity in the East Baton Rouge school system - initiating the program in both school districts. Her experience in the classroom includes teaching Talented Visual Art, art in grades K - 12, Kindergarten, and the core subject areas of science, social studies, and English. While teaching at Forest Hill Elementary School in Shreveport, she was selected as one of three finalists for the Caddo Elementary teacher of the year. Rhonda's interest in the arts in her community has driven her to volunteer as a docent at Meadows Museum on the Centenary College campus and to act as administrator for the Youth Symphony, an outreach of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Rhonda served on the Louisiana Department of Education committee to develop the current Talented Theatre evaluation tool and she is listed on the roster of Talented Visual Art evaluators for Louisiana. Rhonda holds a B. A in Art Education, an M. A. in Fine Arts, and an MEd. in Educational Leadership.
Tara Armand - Shreveport
Tara Hooper has over ten years of experience in education. She began her teaching career as a third grade teacher and has experience teaching kindergarten, second grade, preschool, and first grade. She holds a bachelor's degree in Education and is certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade. In 1999, Tara was awarded Teacher of the Year for Bossier Elementary in Bossier Parish. Tara earned her National Board Certification in 2014 in the content area of literacy including reading and language arts. In 2015, she was recognized as an Educator of Distinction by the state of Louisiana. In addition, she received the honor of being named Teacher of the Year for South Highlands Elementary Magnet in Caddo Parish. In 2016, Tara was chosen by the Caddo Parish Professional Development Staff to serve as a mentor for new teachers in Caddo Parish. During this time, she also served on her school's leadership committee where she provided professional development for teachers and principals in Caddo Parish. Tara attained her master's degree in Educational Leadership from Louisiana Tech University in the spring of 2017 and she is currently teaching first grade at South Highlands Elementary Magnet.