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Face Magazine of Acadiana

LEF Announces 2018 Top Finalists

Feb 14, 2018 10:45AM ● By Caitlin Marshall

Lafayette Education Foundation recently honored the top four finalists at the 20th annual Teacher Awards ceremony.

 The LEF received over 1,400 nomination letters, nominating 782 educators parish-wide. The Annual LEF Teacher Awards honors Lafayette Parish educators who have been nominated for their outstanding performances and for positively impacting their students’ lives. The four categories of the awards include elementary, middle, high school, and inspirational.

Before the final four were announced, there was a selected pool of 16 educators spread through the four categories. It was then up to the panel of judges to whittle the number down to the final four, basing their decision on the teachers’ reach, impact, and dedication to promoting excellence in education.

The Lafayette Education Foundation has announced its four top finalists for the 2018 Teacher Awards on Jan. 18 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.

 In the Elementary school category, Becky Kade, a kindergarten teacher from J. Wallace James Elementary school, was the top finalist. Two teachers from Our Lady of Fatima were selected as top finalists this year; Jennifer Caillier, a sixth and seventh-grade teacher was selected as the middle school finalist and Beth Viator was the selected finalist in the inspirational category. Finally, in the high school category, Jacob Simon, who teaches grades 9 through 12 at Ovey Comeaux High school, was selected as a finalist as well.

Originally established as a fund, LEF was designed to be self-perpetuating, according to the organization website. Since its founding, LEF has become a full-fledged organization, funding hundreds of grants to benefit area teachers and educators, and, in turn, primary, secondary and post-secondary students. The LEF organization also provides funding for various literacy and social-emotional education initiatives to connect classroom skills with real-world situations.

Over the past two decades, LEF has recognized over 4,200 educators’ commitments to their classrooms and awarded a total of $396,000 to Lafayette Parish educators.