Elementary Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Bridget Berry
Mrs. Bridget currently teaches 5th grade Reading and ELA. She has a special talent for bringing literature to life and pushing the writing skills of her students to new heights. Last year, Mrs. Bridget received a Highly Effective rating from the Louisiana Department of Education, and her students scored in the 97th percentile on the LEAP 2025 ELA test. Highly Effective is the highest possible rating a teacher can receive.
Mrs. Bridget says that the song that best describes her teaching style is “The Climb” because each school year brings a new challenge. She considers the knowledge that she has gained after 25 years her greatest accomplishment. Mrs. Bridget states, “I have worked with so many great educators and learned so much in the process. Each of these experiences has shaped me into a better teacher.”
Middle School Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Sharon Gaude
Mrs. Gaude currently teaches 8th grade Reading and ELA. The passion that she has for literature is contagious and she passes it on to her students. She enjoys watching her students dig deep into a topic and then pour their hearts out through writing.
Mrs. Gaude says that the song that best describes her teaching style is “I Will Survive.” She considers returning to the classroom after homeschooling her children for 13 years her biggest accomplishment. Her transition has been very successful and she states the following about her return to the classroom, “The accountability and professionalism of educators today has increased with the advancement of a competitive society. I have learned a great deal from my colleagues and have the highest respect for their knowledge in methods and student development. I have learned new methods for teaching in the recent years which has been challenging.”
Her advice to new teachers is to be compassionate, patient, and show students that you care. She references Proverbs 15:1 which states, "A gentle answer turns away wrath.”
High School Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Jackie Knight
Mrs. Jackie currently teaches Health/Physical Education and Criminal Justice. Her enthusiasm for life spills over into the classroom - guaranteeing complete engagement from her students at all times. Last year, Mrs. Jackie became a certified CPR instructor. Since that time she has certified dozens of students and staff members at SMA.
The Rocky theme song, “Gonna Fly Now,” is what Mrs. Jackie uses to describe her teaching style. She says that her biggest accomplishment as an educator comes from her CPR class. She takes pride in knowing that she has enabled others to save lives. Her advice to new teachers is to spend time talking to students and serve as a mom away from home.