Calcasieu Parish school employees recognized

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

By Emily Burleigh

American Press

Tony McCardle, Calcasieu director of career and technical education, was recognized as a recipient of the Outstanding Music Educator Award from the National Federation of State High Schools.

The award was presented by Brett Babineaux, Louisiana Music Educators Association President, and Brett Lambert, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame representative and LMEA executive director.

Babineaux said that tens of thousands of music educators are considered for this award. This year, only 24 were honored.

Music education falls under McCardle as Director of Career and Technical Education. “Underneath his umbrella, he has done just absolutely marvelous things,” said Babineaux. “I think the thing that most impressed the national committee was what he did right here in Calcasieu Parish, and how that impacted the entire table of Louisiana during the pandemic and during the hurricanes… He really was a lighthouse.”

“Everytime there was a problem, he had a solution, and everytime that solution fell apart, he had another solution, which is what people liked.”

Beth Ferguson, CPSB Library Services Consultant, presented awards to CPSB’s three librarians of the year.

The CPSB Elementary Librarian of the Year is Kim Burcham, A.A. Nelson Elementary.

Ferguson recited the letter of the co-worker who nominated Burcham. “Her commitment to putting learners first, love of reading and creative problem solving skills have made her an asset amongst her peers as well as a true blessing for our school’s library.”

Tiffany Boss, F.K. White Middle School, was honored at the CPSB Middle School Librarian of the year. In one of the letters of recommendation written about Boss, it was stated that she curates a fun and warm environment that encourages students to look at the library differently. “With all her educational experience, she inherently has the tools to lead and teach students in such a way that makes them want to return to her library time and time again.”

Boss was also given an award recognizing her as an overall exceptional librarian. Ferguson said that this award is determined by the district wide impact of the librarian. “The committee that selected Tiffany was so impressed with the letters that were written about her… that they couldn’t believe all of the things she was able to do.”

Laura Denise Manuel, DeQuincy High School, was recognized as the CPSB High School Librarian of the Year. Fegruson explained that Manuel has had an especially hard time, as the hurricanes destroyed every book in her library.

“She never skipped a beat. She just kept trying to find a way to service students… she’s back at her library, but at that time it was just something to watch,” she said. “She has always had a place for students to feel comfortable.”

School Board member Glenda Gay, District 3, was also honored at the meeting. Superintendent Dr. Shannon LaFargue presented Gay with a certificate from Louisiana State Bar Association for voluntarily completing 16 hours of ethics training in 2019 and six additional hours of training each subsequent year.