Albany Middle School teacher honored as SLU Young Alumnus of the Year

Albany Middle School teacher honored as SLU Young Alumnus of the Year
Joni Smith, a 7th grade science teacher, STEM educator, and the 2017 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, has been named SLU’s 2018 Young Alumnus of the Year. She will be officially recognized at the Southeastern Alumni Association Awards Evening to be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, during Homecoming Week.

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Joni Smith, a 7th grade science teacher at Albany Middle School, STEM educator, and 2017 Louisiana State Teacher of Year, has now been named Southeastern Louisiana University’s 2018 Young Alumnus of the Year.

Smith will be honored at the Southeastern Alumni Association Awards Evening on Friday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event are available by calling 1-800-SLU-ALUM or by going online here.

“We are pleased to honor Joni Smith as our Young Alumnus of the Year. Using her depth of knowledge in science and math, Joni became a STEM enrichment teacher in the science classroom at Albany Middle School. She has been identified as a Master Teacher in her school and district and is often asked to help other science/STEM teachers in their classrooms,” said Alumni Association President Beth Carney Ebberman.

Smith graduated from SLU in 2007 with a bachelor’s in general studies. She has been teaching for ten years. As well as being honored as the 2017 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, which earned her special recognition in Washington, D.C. from President Donald Trump, she was also named the 2018 Louisianan of the Year.

“As an educator, I embarked on a journey to remove the negative labels from my students and replace them with positive ones. The students owned up to their identities and became leaders both in the classroom and in their community. All students are just one caring adult away from being a success story. I may teach in a small town, but I have a big vision to be a bold advocate for students, no matter their background,” said Smith.

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