South Highlands earns its third Blue Ribbon honor

It’s the only public elementary school in Louisiana history to be granted the honor three times
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:23 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - South Highlands Elementary Magnet School was named a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School for its academic success over the past year. It’s the only public elementary school in Louisiana history to be granted the honor three times.

“I think its a testament to how we do things here at South Highlands. The rigor and the academics. We have incredibly bright students, talented teachers and staff that go above and beyond consistently. Caddo provides us a wonderful curriculum, but here at South Highlands we’re able to do a little bit more, push our students, provide them with creative outlooks and engaging learning opportunities. I think this a testament to those methods working,” said the school’s principal, Heather Williams.

She also attributes the success to her hard-working teachers who go the extra mile to meet their students’ academic needs.

“It’s completely rewarding because it’s not something that happens overnight. It’s almost a goal that we have all the time. ‘How can we reach our students and continue to do so, and continue to strive for the best and show our students that as long as they do their best, they can achieve anything they want?’,” said Tara Armand, who teaches second grade.

“I think that we are a very unique school. What sets us apart the most, I would say that we have a plethora of achievement levels in this school. Our teachers have a huge background knowledge. We tie in art-integration constantly, and I think we are just a very diverse community here,” fourth-grade teacher Dena Smith said.

The school will also be celebrating its building’s 100th birthday.

“I think it means sustained excellence for the whole city. There are a lot of schools that will celebrate their centennial in the next few years for Caddo Parish, but South Highlands is the first. Like I said, we originated as the South Highlands Village and the kids used to walk to school and go home at lunch,” Williams said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time this year really learning about what it was like originally. But to be able to celebrate the neighborhood of South Highlands, the whole community has just really revolved around this school and we’re excited to be celebrating that.”