South Grant teacher making the most of new LA Elementary Teacher of the Year title

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GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB) - Every year the Louisiana Department of Education teams up with education organizations across the state to award hardworking, passionate teachers and principals.

Photo Source: KALB

Over the summer South Grant Elementary teacher Jessica Borland advanced from her school's teacher of the year, to the entire state's.

The fourth-grade math teacher is starting her 12th school year with the brand new title. Her name was called during the 13th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala in Baton Rouge, in July.

"When they said my name, I was just clapping," Borland said. "I was just thinking, I think that is my name!"

The Department of Education picked her as the division winner out of the top 24 teachers, and then the top nine.

Borland's secret to classroom success is simple. She shows students what they are capable of.

"It's just not an option for them not to try," Borland said. "I try really hard to make my kids believe in themselves, because I truly believe when they believe in themselves there is nothing they won't try, or won't do."

She gives all the credit for her new title to the class who motivated her during each step of the process last year.

"They were so excited for me," Borland said. "Every time I got a piece of information and I made it to another level, more than anybody, I couldn't wait to get back in that classroom so I could just see their little faces."

The Grant Parish School Board couldn't be more proud. Superintendent Elect Paxton Teddlie said it's a title they haven't seen for several years.

"It's been a longtime and we do have very deserving teachers," Superintendent Teddlie said. "So, it is good to have someone to be recognized from Grant Parish on what all we've done, what she's done for our system and all we are trying to do to improve education in Grant Parish."

Borland said the process has helped her grow as an educator

"They really made you self reflect like it was digging pretty deep," Borland said.

It's progress she wants to continue with the new young minds she's been charged to mold.

"It was talking about your passion and what you want to do for your students," Borland said. "A lot of that work, it has really inspired me this year to do things a whole lot different."

Many of the division winners and finalists were treated by the state, Dream teachers and Louisiana Association of Principals. The following community organizations also contributed: Raising Canes, Mattress Direct, Manship Theatre, Knock Knock Museum, School Aids, Community Coffee, Coca Cola, Regions Bank, Rocket Surgery, Gold Star Trophies.

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