My teachers believed I could......so I did!
LEF Finalist 2008
The entire LEF experience was life-changing for me. Since 1994, I've been blessed with the opportunity to change the lives of thousands of children. I have done my best to grow all of my students academically, socially, and behaviorally. I've also tried to recognize my students for their academic success. I never thought I needed recognition but LEF proved to me that I was wrong. Being recognized was such a rewarding feeling and I'm eternally grateful to LEF for taking the time to recognize excellence in education.
Vincent HIcks LEF Finalist 2016
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I got into teaching because I really wanted to coach basketball and impact students’ lives in a positive way by teaching them the proper attitude and work ethic needed to be a successful young man/woman.
What is your favorite part about being a teacher?
I love the relationships that I have with my students. I like the fact that they can come to me and talk about things they wouldn’t necessary communicate with their parents about. I also enjoy when they graduate and come back years later to say thank you for the help and advice that I gave them that helped get them get where they are today. This makes me feel like I am doing right by them.
We know that teaching can be difficult and stressful. What motivates you to keep going, even in tough times?
Knowing that I am preparing my students for their future makes me suck it up. My attitude towards teaching and being consistent isn’t geared towards what I am going through but the preparation necessary for my students succeed in life.
What does it mean to you to be an LEF finalist?
It is a huge blessing and it means the world to me. For someone to notice the work I put into our young people and how hard I try to make a difference in their lives, to get recognized, makes me fully understand that I am doing the right thing for my students. I wasn’t expecting this. To even mention me with the teachers that are nominated was an award in itself.
What advice would you give someone considering going into education or to a new teacher?
Love your students; listen to them without judging; try to understand where they come from so you can understand them; and consider them first before you consider yourself.
Charles West - lef Finalist 2016
I was a finalist in the elementary category in 2016. It was one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. I was beyond disbelief when they came into my classroom to announce that I was a finalist. I loved everything about the entire experience, from the announcement to the pictures to the ceremony. It has been the greatest thing to ever happen to me in my 20 years of teaching.
David Thibodaux STEM Academy lef nOMINEES
Kacey Edgar Jackson