Campti educator receives Teaching Excellence Award


Crystal Pierce, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Fairview Alpha Elementary School in Campti was recently named one of 43 public school educators who received the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence – one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for public educators.

The educators will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in
Education Gala in Washington, DC Feb. 10.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence are unique: in addition to being
recognized for excellence in instructional and professional practice, awardees are
nominated by their peers – their National Education Association state affiliate – for their
dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development,
attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.

Pierce says she is dedicated to finding the “aha” moment with her students.

“I can show my students pictures or videos, but when I actually bring the experience to them:

Aha! They get it! So when it comes time for the lesson on jungles, for example, my
classroom becomes a jungle, complete with vines, waterfalls and wildlife,” Pierce

Because the NEA Foundation values both professional development and diversity,
awardees are invited to participate in its Global Learning Fellowship. Fellows learn how
to prepare their students for a connected and multicultural world in this comprehensive,
year-long professional development program, which includes an international field study
next June.

“These outstanding educators are innovators, challengers, and global thinkers,” said
Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation President and CEO. “We are delighted that California
Casualty joins us once again in expressing our shared admiration and thanks for their

“The California Casualty awardees are the architects of our nation’s future,” said Beau
Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to honor them with
the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence.” The Louisiana Association of Educators nominated Pierce for the honor. Her school received an award of $650.

2 thoughts on “Campti educator receives Teaching Excellence Award

  1. Congratulations Crystal! I am so very proud of you. Your achievement will inspire others and hopefully they will recognize what a wonderful profession teaching is if we really love our career and devote ourselves to being the best for our students. Again, congratulations and don’t leave Natchitoches Parish.

  2. As Crystal Pierce’s paraprofessional for five years and the parent of two children she has taught, I can say wholeheartedly that she deserved this award. Crystal’s dedication to educating young minds is priceless. Each and every child that walks through the doorway to our classroom matters to her. Working side by side with her, I’ve had the privilege of seeing her in action. She makes sure she brings out the potential in every one of our students. She uses every chance she has for teachable moments. She is always consistent with the children so they have the security of knowing what is expected of them. She always tells our children they are the best in the school, and it makes them want to BE the best. I met Crystal when she was student teaching many years ago. She was wonderful even before she was officially a teacher. Now, with her 19 years of experience, she is the best I’ve ever worked with. I am very proud of her for being the very first Natchitoches Parish teacher to ever win the LAE Image Award and the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. Congratulations Crystal!

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