from the Louisiana Department of Education
State education leaders Wednesday night named the 2014 Students of the Year. The winners, one student from the elementary, middle, and high school levels, were announced during the annual Students of the Year awards ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge. The event also recognized the 18 regional finalists for their achievements.
"These students not only excel academically, they demonstrate leadership and social qualities that make them assets to their schools and communities," said State Superintendent John White. "They are yet another example of the great things happening in our state. We are pleased to honor each of them."
The 2014 Students of the Year award winners are:
Elementary School - 5th Grade
Emma Purifoy of A.E. Phillips Laboratory School in Lincoln Parish - In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, Emma is incredibly involved at A.E. Phillips Laboratory School and in her community. At school, Emma is a member of the Gifted and Talented program, choir where she was chosen as a soloist, a mentor for first graders, and a school tour guide. In her community, she has donated to Locks of Love, made and sold bracelets to earn money for the needy, and donated her time and effort to numerous fundraisers including Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, and raising money for cancer awareness. Emma also excels in the arts and sports. She is an accomplished dancer, including being the lead ballet soloist for Louisiana Delta Ballet Company, a swimmer, cross country runner, and cheer team member. In 2012 and 2013, Emma won the National Fitness Testing Award.
Middle School - 8th Grade
Adeline Martin of Lacache Middle School in Terrebonne Parish - Adeline is an accomplished musician, playing the French horn and violin. She was named 1st chair on the All State Symphonic Band in 2013, 1st chair District Honor Band four times, and 1st chair Parish Honor Band three times. She is a member of the Gifted and Talented Program at Lacache Middle School and has had perfect attendance for 8 years. Adeline is very involved in her school as a member of the Beta Club, Just Say No Club, 4-H Club, cheerleading squad captain, pep band, drama club, fashion club, yearbook, and a pitcher on the school's softball team. In her community, she has volunteered for Coats for Kids, donated to Locks of Love, volunteered for the Calcutta Project raising money for the poor, donated her personal violin to the Haiti School of Music, and worked with the Make a Wish Foundation.
High School - 12th Grade
Patrick Flanigan of Mandeville High School in St. Tammany Parish - Patrick has aspirations of being a lawyer and politician. He serves as the senior class president at Mandeville High School and was also the junior class president. Patrick is also president of the Mandeville High School Louisiana Youth and Government Program, Youth Governor for 2014, Youth Speaker of the House for 2013, and Parliamentarian for 2012. Additionally, he was Louisiana's delegate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program in 2013. Patrick is ranked first in his class at Mandeville High School and has been honored as an AP Scholar with Distinction, servers as a math tutor through Mu Alpha Theta, is a member of the St. Tammany Superintendent's Tuition Task Force, and still finds time to lead the Mandeville High School Tennis Team as captain.
The process for selecting the winners begins at the school level. All public and approved nonpublic elementary, middle and high schools across the state are asked to submit one candidate from 5th, 8th and 12th grade, depending on the grade configuration of the school. These students then compete with their peers at the district level and may advance to the regional competitions, where Regional Finalists are chosen.
Each finalist then submits a portfolio and completes a written composition the day of the award ceremony. The selection committee also interviews the finalists to evaluate their communication and critical thinking skills.
Each of the finalists receives a certificate noting their accomplishment, donated by the Louisiana Association of School Executives. The Students of the Year winners in each category each receive a trophy and a check, donated by Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Inc. and State Senator Norbert Chabert, District 20.