Caddo Schools celebrates future teachers with ‘Signing Day’ ceremony

Nearly 40 Caddo Parish high school seniors will be honored during a 'signing day' ceremony...
Nearly 40 Caddo Parish high school seniors will be honored during a 'signing day' ceremony Thursday afternoon, as they commit to becoming teachers.(Christian Piekos)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:27 AM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Nearly 40 Caddo Parish graduating seniors were honored and celebrated Thursday, May 19, as they prepare to “sign” with a college or university. But these students aren’t committing to competing in athletics, as is the case in many signing-day ceremonies.

These students are “signing off” on becoming teachers.

“We are so honored to be developing the next generation of future educators,” said Karen Peace, a Caddo Parish teacher recruiter. “Educators are the beginning of all other professions, so we want to celebrate those kids who are committing now to the profession when they finish college.”

Representing nearly a dozen Caddo high schools, these inspiring and motivated seniors completed the district’s Teaching Professions course, which gives the students real-world, hands-on experience in a classroom.

“When I first got here, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a teacher, I just thought it would be fun,” said Promise Whitlock, who is soon graduating from Caddo Magnet High School and desires to teach either kindergarten or algebra. “When I took the class, it gave me the drive to do it.”

The course, which is instructed at the Caddo Career and Technology Center, also equips rising educators with six transferable college credits upon completion.

“It is re-energizing for those of us working in the profession for a very long time to be around young people who want to make a difference in lives of other kids,” Peace added. “It’s one thing to be a student in a classroom, but it’s a whole other thing to learn what happens on the backside.”

Whitlock, who will be attending Louisiana Tech University, said the Teaching Professions course reinforced her desire to become an educator.

“If you want to do something, you should,” she added. “I think if you want to do education, you should.”

Another Caddo Magnet senior, Kayla Smith, wore a Grambling State University shirt as she signed.

“Me, in particular, I choose to teach kindergarten or first grade because those two years were the strong foundation for my career and I remember my kindergarten or first-grade teacher and I want to be that teacher that they remember who got them to like school,” she said.

This is the second year Caddo Parish leaders decided to honor students committed to becoming teachers. Back in March, state Education Superintendent Cade Brumley said there were about 2,500 certified teacher vacancies in the state. Last year, only five students committed.

Colleges and universities from throughout Louisiana were represented at the 2:30 p.m. “signing day” ceremony Thursday, including:

  • Bossier Parish Community College
  • Centenary College
  • Dillard University
  • Grambling State University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • LSU Shreveport
  • Northwestern State University
  • Southeastern Louisiana University
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of North Texas
  • Southern University Baton Rouge

The ceremony took place in Independence Stadium’s skybox.

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