Kimberly Eckert, an English teacher at Brusly High School in West Baton Rouge Parish, was named Louisiana’s Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Department of Education. Eckert and other outstanding Louisiana educators were honored during the 11th annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala on July 28.
Eckert earned a bachelor of social work degree from Northwestern State University, completed her teacher preparation program through LRCE and earned a master’s degree in special education at NSU. She is currently two courses short of a second master’s in curriculum and instruction with a reading focus from NSU.
Eckert has been teaching in West Baton Rouge Parish for nine years. In addition to teaching English I, she has also served as a special education inclusion teacher, a reading interventionist, speech teacher, mentor and master teacher as well as an instructional coach.
“Kimberly was a joy to teach and collaborate with on class discussions, assignments, field experiences and projects,” said. Dr. Barb Duchardt, a professor of special education at NSU and Eckert’s advisor as she completed her masters’ degree. Eckert’s research was conducted on 80 junior high students ranging in age from 12-16 who were enrolled in reading intervention classes at Port Allen Middle School. She evaluated their reading comprehension results using the Reading CLOZE strategy procedure collecting pre-and posttest data, Duchardt said.
“Kimberly is a life-long learner. She was proactive in her active class participation and she always went above and beyond the course requirements. She was excited about teaching students with exceptional learning needs, and I am so happy for her 2017 Teacher of the Year recognition. It is well-deserved,” Duchardt said.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the attentions and relationship I had with my advisers,” Eckert said. “I really felt like they provided special attention and invaluable feedback on every single discussion I participated in and every body of work I submitted. I also can’t say enough about the classmates I collaborated with and shared in discussion with course after course. I feel like the program attracted really passionate teachers and it was a great experience to share with them all.”
Eckert is the second educator with degrees from NSU that has been named Louisiana Teacher of the Year. April Giddens, who this year joined NSU’s faculty, was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year.