Rapides Parish students commit to offset teacher shortage

Nine students in Rapides Parish signed their letters of intent to become teachers on Tuesday, May 2.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 11:21 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Nine students in Rapides Parish signed their letters of intent to become teachers on Tuesday, May 2, which is also Teacher Appreciation Day.

Throughout Rapides Parish, the state of Louisiana and the United States, there is a shortage of one of the most impactful and important occupations throughout our society, teachers. Tuesday’s signing is a culmination of what the Rapides Parish School Board is doing to address Cenla’s teacher shortage. The signings happened at four high schools within the parish: Buckeye High, Bolton High, Tioga High and Alexandria Senior High School. The high schools partnered with the universities each student will attend in the fall.

“I want to become a teacher so I can be an advocate for other people to be able to become teachers,” said Bolton senior Kaitlyn Wilson. “I want to help students realize that they are smart, and they are important.”

Kaitlyn is on her way to Jackson State University in Mississippi. Her sister, Jazmine Wilson, also signed her letter of intent.

“I feel like if I can change just one person’s mindset, then that will be good for me,” said Wilson. “If somebody does not have something, I am the type of person to just give it to them because I do not like to see people struggle or be alone.”

Another Bolton High senior will also join Kaitlyn Wilson next year in Natchitoches at Northwestern State University, Amari Gaines.

“For the longest, I said I wanted to be a nurse until I met her,” Gaines said about her favorite teacher. “She taught me that not only did I have a passion for others, I had a passion for being that person that someone could lean on.”

Tioga senior Jessica Story will attend the University of Louisiana Lafayette next year.

“I love being around kids,” said Story. “I love helping people grow and seeing other people’s success and knowing I had a part in that.”

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