Fort Polk Progress congratulates VPSD Elementary Teacher of the - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Fort Polk Progress congratulates VPSD Elementary Teacher of the Year

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LEESVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -Fort Polk Progress, as part of its Education Initiative, recognizes Lanette Nolen as the 2014 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

For the past 16 years, Nolen has been teaching in the classroom where she spent her own first grade. The Vernon Parish native came home to Rosepine to be a kindergarten teacher and has been teaching children there ever since.

"It's pretty much the same school I attended," she said. "My parents went to school here and so did my husband of 22 years and my three boys."

Nolen says that teaching has been her lifelong dream and that kindergarten was the only grade she wanted to teach.

"I always knew I wanted to be a mom, and I thought that teaching was a great profession for a mom," she said. "When I completed school I waited for a position to open up in kindergarten. I had no desire to teach any other grade. I have only taught at Rosepine, and I have only taught kindergarten. I am meant to be with the younger children. I believe that working with them is my gift. It takes a certain type of person with certain skills to teach these kids."

Being a native of the area, Nolen has had the experience of impacting the lives of the children of many of her friends and former classmates. She is looking forward to the day when she teaches the children of some former students.

"I have taught the children of some people I have known all my life," she said. "My first class graduated from high school in 2012. I anticipate that one day I will be teaching their children. My niece was in that class and she has a one-year-old child. They will be here eventually."

Nolen is a part of the community and an integral part of the education system in the parish.

"I am dedicated to my work and my students," Nolen said. "I give my job 110 percent. I do whatever I have to do to make sure my students are successful, and I do a lot of extra work to make sure that I am successful."

Over the past years the demands of her job have changed considerably. Nolen says some of the changes that have occurred have been extremely helpful to the students in her classroom.

"Our curriculum is more rigorous and demanding," she said. "We are required to teach five-year-olds twice as many words in kindergarten today than we did when I started. But the children are more verbal and tech savvy which contributes to their vocabulary and general knowledge. I want my five-year-olds to grow as much as possible during their time with me. I want them to leave kindergarten knowing how to be independent readers and writers, acknowledge numbers and the alphabet and have the socialization skills needed to become the best students they can become."

Nolen embodies dedication by pursuing excellence in the classroom and the community.

"I am fair, consistent and I have high expectations for me and my students," she said.

Congratulations to Lanette Nolen for her accomplishments!
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