5th annual ‘Educators Rising’ addresses Cenla teacher shortage

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:45 PM CST
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Enrich, ensure and encourage was the message hundreds of students heard before competing in the fifth annual Educators Rising competition.

The event is designed for students aspiring to be teachers. It is a day of competition, where students demonstrate their education knowledge and hear from guest speakers who stress the importance of education, while inviting them into the education field.

Judge David Williams of Rapides Parish shared that he is married to an educator, and a recent conversation put that role in a different perspective.

“In most instances, especially in today’s society, they are spending more time with the kids than the parents,” said Williams. “So, they are literally raising America. There are some jobs that you can do and say it is just a job that you clock in and do, this is not one of those jobs.”

Of the hundreds of students in attendance, 96, who dream of becoming educators one day, competed in multiple categories like public speaking and interviewing. Maegan Schopper, the high school curriculum specialist for Rapides Parish, said this event addresses the shortage and shows students that teachers do more than they think.

“A teacher is that inspiration that will come into a child’s life,” said Schopper. “That motivator, that coach, that loving part they may not be receiving at home. I am going to say they are our mothers and fathers that are not in the home but outside of the home.”

Congresswoman Julia Letlow represents Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. Letlow closed out the competition by recounting her experiences as a teacher and encouraging students to go for it, because teachers are our heroes.

“It is just so important that we have strong teachers that are there to be there for our children,” said Letlow. “Our children are our future, and if you give a child an education, you give them a future and a hope.”

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