2022 Lafayette Mom Teacher of the Year Finalists!

2022 Lafayette Mom Teacher of the Year Finalists

We received some amazing nominees for our Lafayette Mom Teacher of the Year campaign … nominated by parents, students, colleagues, neighbors, and friends … all who have made a difference in the lives of students and who motivate and inspire those around them. Selecting the top 10 finalists from all of the nominations proved to be a very difficult task.

A team of objective judges will determine the Lafayette Mom Teacher of the Year from the 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Monday, May 2nd!

Top 10 Finalists

Alicia Devillier – Green T Lindon – Youngsville, LA

{Nominated by: Kasey Ray} Alicia has been my best friend for over 20 years, we met when we were in college earning our teaching degrees together. Since then life has taken on her on quite a ride and I’ve been inspired and admired her as she’s handled the ups and downs with grace. Since she began teaching she was always the go to for principals and fellow teachers. If it could get done everyone knew Alicia could handle it still to this day she is constantly loaded down with extra work because of her hard work ethic and aim to please and succeed. She will do ANYTHING to help ANY student! For example, a few weeks ago a student of hers had covid, she went to the mother to give her the student’s work so she wouldn’t fall behind on her own time. Many parents and her students (who she loves like her own) have always idolized her, she’s shared numerous letters and sweet notes her students and former students have sent and kept In touch with her. Always calling her their “favorite most memorable teacher, some even thanking her for the love she showed them.” On top of just being an amazing teacher and selfless human being, I’m most taken aback by the way she handled such tragedy in her life, as her husband was tragically killed by being hit on his bicycle on their anniversary as he was riding to buy her a card at Rouses! He was left to die drowning in the ditch, leaving her a single momma of two. Alicia was only in her 30s with a 9 year old and 7 year old and now a widow! When she could have crumbled and quit, she NEVER missed a day of work, she threw herself into her students and her children and prevailed despite the sadness in her life. I’m very proud and honored to call her my friend but her students are just as lucky with the love and knowledge she CHOOSES to share with them. Please choose my friend for this award SHE IS SO DESERVING. Thank you for your consideration. To know Mrs. Devillier is to love her. I can’t sing her praises enough.

Charlotte Stroud – Green T. Lindon Elem. – Youngsville

{Nominated by: Allyson Turner} Charlotte Stroud is a single mom of two awesome boys and has been a teacher for 13 years. She loves her students and coworkers! Her class consistently scores highest in second grade in reading and on standardized tests. She tutors after school each day to help even more students. She is always ready to meet her student’s needs and participates in the community fundraisers like Color Runs and Walks for St. Jude. She is an amazing mom, daughter and teacher!

Dixie Gaspard – Lafayette High School, Lafayette Parish

{Nominate by: Katelyn Belsom} Mrs. Gaspard loves her students as only a mother could. She is a supporter, a shoulder to cry on, a hug when any student or teacher needs one, and, above all, an excellent teacher. I have watched Mrs. Gaspard navigate teaching a LEAP content in only the way a true expert can. It is evident to anyone who enters her classroom how respected and adored she is by her students. When a student needed a new jacket, she bought one. When a student needed food, she provided. She has not only taught her students mathematics but also life skills. I watched her assist a student who was struggling with anxiety. Mrs. Gaspard not only guided the student through that particular episode but also talked to the student about strategies to help later and encouraged her to talk to her parents and counselors. I cannot think of a more deserving teacher.

Jacquie Lerille – St. Thomas More Catholic High School Acadiana District

{Nominated by: Abbie Soileau & Charlotte Brown} Mrs. Lerille is the perfect example of a teacher that is calming, understanding and values her students greatly. Mrs. Lerille always challenges us every day and shows us just how much we are capable of. She is nurturing, hardworking, dedicated to bettering the lives of her students, and always puts everyone before herself. She has brought me so much closer to Christ and she reminds each and every person of their worth every day. Her laugh is contagious and I always feel safe in her classroom. Mrs. Lerille has made my first year of high school so memorable and amazing and she deserves to be appreciated!! She’s truly one of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Kate Fisher – Lafayette Parish: Broadmoor/Myrtle Place Gifted

{Nominated by: Kari Walker} Year after year Kate Fisher consistently goes above and beyond for her students. As a gifted teacher, she not only encounters those who excel academically, but also those who need some help navigating they are different learning styles. She is always trying to be a problem solver for these kids, help them love learning and get them headed towards their fullest potential. She does this all with the utmost kindness and respect and makes learning fun. We are lucky to have her as a math tutor as well and she has helped both my daughter and another student who tutors with us to get the thought that ‘girls are bad at math’ out of their heads and learn how to tackle tough equations.

Monique Derouselle – Lafayette High, Paul Breaux, Alleman, Comeaux LPSS, Northside, ECA, and Acadien Middle

{Nominated by: Lian Cheramie} Monique is my co-worker in the Talented Theatre program. This past school year, despite the many obstacles of Covid, and navigating the world as a new mom, I have watched Monique continually go above and beyond for her students.

Monique continuously looks for opportunities for her students to learn and grow, by sharing scholarships focused on the arts to encourage them to enter film contests. She has coached a few students with their college auditions, one of whom received a scholarship for theatre based on the audition they showed.

Not only does Monique look for ways her students can shine, she also makes sure they are being seen. Whether she is sharing their accomplishments with their teachers or administrators, or making sure the students are receiving the services they need to aid in their learning, Monique makes sure her students know she is one more person in their corner.

Monique continues to work as a film artist when she is not being a wife, mother and mentor. She is currently working on filming her own short film, and has made sure to include her students on her journey. She has created intern positions for the Talented students to have an opportunity to learn about the film industry in a hands on experience.

For all these reasons and more, I recommend Monique Morton Derouselle to be recognized as Teacher of the Year.

Myra Booth – Martial F Billeaud – Lafayette

{Nominated by: Nina Wills} Ms. Booth has been so attentive to my son’s heart condition, noticing changes in his physical appearance and mental appearance. She cares so much for her students and does so much one-on-one with her students. She makes learning fun and makes the kids feel so comfortable with her. She deserves this award for her ability to give that one-on-one attention and LOVE to each student.




Sandy Thompson – Episcopal School of Acadiana

{Nominated by: Yongli Sang & Michelle Guidry Melchior} A few of my children have had Mrs. Sandy as their kindergarten in the past. She has always been an amazing teacher. One of my favorite lessons she does is a unit on spiders. She gets LOTS of HUGE spiders and sets up their aquariums IN HER CLASSROOM for the children to have hands on learning (they are set up for quite a while – not just one day!). She also frequents various school events to cheer for the students at the school. I do not have a child in her class this year which may seem odd that I am nominating her. Recently she did something for me which shows just how amazing of a person she is….and she did it when no one was watching. We found out my youngest child is permanently deaf at the end of last year (2021). He is in kindergarten this year, but does not have Mrs. Sandy. He was fitted and received his hearing aids in January 2022. His little face lit up and brought me to tears when they turned on his hearing aids. My husband picked the children up from school on one very unforgettable day in February, February 16th to be exact. When they got home he told our youngest son to put his hearing aids in the charging station. Well guess how many he had in his ears…….one. My husband immediately emailed the teacher and asked her to check the classroom for the hearing aid before the janitors made their rounds. He caught the teacher (and her aid) just before they left for the day. They searched the classroom, his cubby, and the floor of the main lobby where children walk to be dismissed. Nothing. I didn’t know what was going on until after 5:00 and went into panic mode (my exact words were “If a janitor vacuums this hearing aid up I might just jump off of a cliff. I haven’t even paid for them yet.”) I texted a friend of mine who also teaches at the school asking if there were any teachers still at the lower school and explained the situation to her. Guess which teacher was still at school after 5:00 on a Wednesday….you guessed it, Mrs. Sandy. She double-checked EVERYWHERE and went so far as to go in the main building separate from the classrooms and go upstairs, specifically searching the music room because kindergarten has music on Wednesday afternoons before school dismisses. Guess what she found in the music room before the janitors vacuumed – THE HEARING AID! It was well past 5:30 by this time, but that didn’t matter to her. She went well above her range of responsibilities and helped a family and child in need….in an empty school after hours while no one was watching. Mrs. Sandy has shown that she will do the right thing even when no one is watching. She is the perfect example of integrity and an amazing role model for our children.

Sara McKay – Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School

{Nominated by: Anne Elise Doise} Sara is one of the students’ all-time favorite teachers. She assists those who have great anxiety and low self-confidence in school find their way. She helps them to feel at ease in the classroom. She is funny and uses humor to help them see the big picture and to not always take themselves so seriously. She is phenomenal at seeing each child’s strengths whether it’s academically, socially, recognizing their kind heartedness, compassion, or wit. So many kids will tell her family members that Sara has been their favorite teacher of all time. She is caring and understanding. She is always smiling and there to brighten a student’s day when they are down. She knows what it is like to struggle in school and takes extra time and measures to help those who need more help. Her dedication is unmatched. Her demeanor and funny nature are desirable. And her calling to be a teacher is truly seen and observed day in and day out by her students, their parents, and her fellow teachers and administrators. Sara goes above and beyond for her kids. She makes sure all needs are met no matter what level they are on academically, and she acknowledges each individually for their strengths and their character. Her gifts are unending and the community and the school are better for having Sara as a teacher.

Shannon Phillips – St. Thomas More HS

{Nominated by: Jill Johnstone} Shannon has been, for years, an inspirational and active member of our school community, hosting/leading retreats, organizing service projects for St. Joseph’s Diner and other local projects, and encouraging her students to create new service opportunities through an assignment which requires them to envision a project of their own which meets community needs.

This past year, Shannon has been personally going through a heartbreaking journey involving the foster system which has brought our school together in prayer and in a desire to see reform in these bureaucratic systems which impact the lives of families and children.

I can think of no better person to be recognized for her resilience, her grace, her faith, and her continued presence within the walls of our school.

Not only will the winner be crowned the 2022 Lafayette Mom Teacher of the Year, but s/he will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued at ~$900 including:

A team of objective judges will determine the Lafayette Mom Teacher of the Year from the 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Monday, May 2nd!



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