Marie Perret: Second grade teacher at Highland Elementary

How did you end up at Highland Elementary? What year did you start?

I graduated from LSU in 2011 with degrees in Art History and French. I began my teaching career in Tulsa, Oklahoma through an alternative certification program. I taught 1st grade there for 3 years. When I moved back to Louisiana, I knew the East Baton Rouge Parish school system was a perfect fit. My first job was at Greenbrier Elementary teaching kindergarten. When the opportunity came to work under Mr. Robicheaux, I moved to Highland 4 years ago. I have genuinely loved every campus where I’ve taught, but the Highland community is truly wonderful.

Why are you interested in teaching?

I believe that all kids deserve to learn and be successful, but many children don’t have access to educational opportunities. The idea of leveling the playing field through public education is compelling to me. Teaching is incredibly complex, difficult, and meaningful work and I love that it challenges me personally and professionally every day. I also love being around kids! I swear that they are made of magic and that being around their brilliance, energy, kindness, and curiosity is an honor and a privilege.

What do you love most about your students?

My students represent endless potential and they make me proud every day. My students have great attitudes, are always willing to help out, encourage and celebrate each other, and are extremely respectful and polite. They become so invested in our classroom and school community as well as their academic goals. They get me out of bed every morning and I never stop searching for ways to improve my practice because they deserve the best.

Why did you agree to be part of Our Class? What do you hope it will achieve?

I loved the idea of sharing my students and my school with WAFB and the Baton Rouge community. I’m deeply proud of the work we do and it’s mostly unseen by anyone outside of our building. WAFB also made this process so inviting to us. You are an established, trusted, and crucial resource in our community and your willingness to offer meaningful support and visibility is truly a blessing.

What do you think people need to think about most regarding the public education system?

The public school system is a reflection of the health of a community. The challenges we face in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System are intimidating and complex, but ultimately fixable. The more we buy in to our public schools and take responsibility for their success, the better off we become as a city.

Tell us a little about your life outside the school.

I love to spend weekends visiting my mom, dad, and siblings in Covington. I love crafts, reading non-fiction, and going to museums of almost any kind. I avoid cooking at all costs and am very grateful that my husband makes the best food I’ve ever had. We enjoy spending time with our dog and and thrilled to welcome our first child in April!

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