Submitted by Kari Ifland
“Education is a light out of the darkness.” Sharon Chaumont, business teacher at South Beauregard High School, believes that education is the key and the pathway to creating a successful life in today’s world.
“My parents were high school dropouts,” Chaumont says. “but they worked hard and made a good life. Today, those opportunities do not exist without an education.”
When she was in sixth grade, she read the book The Dark Didn’t Catch Me. The book made such an impression that she remembers its message to this day and credits it with her determination to become a teacher.
“From the title, I thought it would be a thriller, something that would be scary,” she remembers. “I was completely surprised when I began reading of a girl who lived in rural Arkansas who found the power to lift herself out of poverty through education.”
Chaumont wants her students to be self-motivated and to find the initiative to work at their own pace, creating their own learning opportunities. In the process, they also learn how to become peer tutors and help each other along the way.
“Collaboration and personal responsibility are life skills,” explains Chaumont. “I enjoy allowing my students freedom to work in ways that are most conducive to their own learn- ing styles and to help each other as they work through the problems in my class.”
She not only encourages de- veloping a love of learning, she also serves as an example to her students as well. She is glad to learn along with them and to continue her education so that she can help her stu- dents be prepared for a quickly changing world, especially in the area of technology.
“A few years ago, some stu- dents approached me about learning to code, so I took some classes and am now able to offer Computer Science Princi- ples, an Advanced Placement class in coding.”
“We have also built two computers in my classroom over the past few years,” she said. “They wanted to learn, I was willing to train to get the credentials, and we worked it out together.”
Chaumont is the 2019-2020 South Beauregard High School Teacher of the Year.
She has been teaching busi- ness for 29 years. She taught one year in Lake Charles be- fore moving to DeRidder High School, and then she trans- ferred to South Beauregard High School where she has been for 26 years.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from McNeese State University with a minor in English and Computer Literacy.
She holds a Louisiana Sec- ondary Education Teaching Certificate for Business Edu- cation and has earned certifi- cations in Microsoft Power-Point, Word, Excel, CIW Internet Business, IC3, and MicroEnterprise Regional and State.
She currently teaches AP Computer Science Principles, Business Computer Applica- tions, Business English, CIW Site Development, Digital Media, Entrepreneurship I and II, and Introduction to Business Computer Applica- tions (ICBA).
She currently sponsors the Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) at the school and has served in the past st the Senior Beta sponsor, the SADD sponsor, and the junior high and high school cheer- leader co-sponsor.
She has previously been named the SBHS Teacher of the Year in 2000.
“I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I was in sec- ond grade,” Chaumont con- cluded. “It is more than just a career choice; I feel it is my calling.”
“I can’t imagine devoting my life to anything else the way I have devoted it to teach- ing,” she concluded. “I love my students, and I love what I do.”