Kaitlyn Richard, a South Beauregard Elementary teacher, has been honored among the top elementary teachers in the state in the 2021-22 Excellent Educators Program, according to Kari Ifland, Teacher of the Year Coordinator.
“Ms. Richard has been selected as a state semi-finalist in the Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the State Department of Education,” Ifland said. “She has been chosen as one of 24 educators and among only eight in the elementary division to be named a state semi-finalist.”
The Excellent Educators Program recognizes Teachers of the Year and Principals of the Year on the high school, middle school, and elementary levels for commitment to student success, excellence in their field, collaboration with colleagues, and demonstration of leadership and innovation in the classroom.
Richard has been a classroom teacher for five years and currently teaches second grade at the school.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from McNeese State University, graduating as an honor student with a minor in Psychology. She is a 2011 Valedictorian graduate of South Beauregard High School.
Richard believes that involving students in an immersive educational environment is the key to making learning fun, engaging, and memorable.
She is inspired by the Benjamin Franklin quote: “Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn.”
Richard is passionate about thinking outside the box to bring a new perspective to teaching and learning.
Throughout the school year, her students will arrive at her door to find the classroom transformed into a new environment, and what would have been a normal, ordinary school day becomes something extraordinary.
Students enter the world of Fractions Pizzeria, StarBUCKS Café, NFL Touchdown to Learning, or Inferencing Class Detectives. By being immersed in these unforgettable learning experiences, students engage on a different level to apply their knowledge to fit the new environment.
“During these transformations,” explains Richard, “students must use the skills they have learned, providing them with a hands-on approach while giving them the opportunity to create, collaborate, and discover new levels of academic achievement.”
One crucial component of elementary education for Richard is independent reading as students learn how to read, how to comprehend their reading, and how to apply reading to higher level skills. Richard is passionate about bridging the learning gap from students learning how to read to them being ready to use their reading to learn.