SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Captain Shreve High School English and Social Studies teacher Nicole Vasquez is the 2016 Louisiana High School Teacher of the Year.
Vasquez was given the title during the 9th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration Saturday in Baton Rouge.
She was one of 9 finalist up for the award.
"I have such immense gratitude and love for my school and my district and I am honored to even stand in a room of such accomplished and amazing educators," Vasquez said. "This whole experience has been surreal, but I am thrilled that it has given our school the opportunity to showcase all of the hard-working and dedicated teachers at Captain Shreve. I don't feel like this award is about me, but rather the work of all of us to get to this point. It is our teamwork that makes Captain Shreve such a great place to teach and learn with a staff that supports and truly encourages each other."
Vasquez said much of her own success during her eight years at Shreve has come from Principal Dr. Sandra McCalla's guidance. For McCalla, the admiration is mutual.
"She is truly the real deal," McCalla said. "We are so proud of her and are grateful for her work inside and outside the classroom. She is a tremendous asset to the school and we are thrilled to have her."
Dr. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools, applauded Vasquez whom he called an exceptional educator.
"The entire Caddo family celebrates and applauds Mrs. Vasquez for this amazing accomplishment," Goree said. "She continuously motivates and challenges her students, but also engages them in thought-provoking discussions designed to inspire and cultivate a love of learning. Mrs. Vasquez is a testament to the power of teachers and we are absolutely delighted and thrilled to see her recognized as the 2016 Louisiana High School Teacher of the Year."
The award was presented by the Louisiana Department of Education in association with Dream Teachers and Louisiana Principals Association.