The NSU Student Union Ballroom was filled with the best and brightest Seniors that Natchitoches Parish has to offer Tuesday night, May 7 at the Elite Scholars Banquet. They gathered to be honored by the A+ Coalition and each high school in Natchitoches Parish was well represented. Chamber of Commerce President Laura Lyles served as the hostess for the night and introduced local dignitaries as well as the Keynote Speaker.
Natchitoches Parish School Board Superintendent Dale Skinner was on hand to lead the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. School board members Rhonda Guidroz, Beverly Broadway, Tan’kia Palmer, and Reba Phelps were also present.
Mayor Lee Posey welcomed the crowd and wore his purple Northwestern State University tie to possibly persuade the young crowd to make Natchitoches and NSU their home.
Spencer Kiper, the Louisiana Teacher of the Year for 2019, addressed the young crowd with his engaging presentation called, “All progress. No perfection.” He shared his story that encompassed all of his reasons for becoming a teacher. He encouraged the crowd to pack well for their future journey.
Fifty-three children from Lakeview High School, St.Mary’s High School, Natchitoches Central High School and the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts all walked away with a $100 scholarship.
The largest scholarship awarded that night went to a NCHS student, Ravin Terry. Terry was selected to win a $1,000 scholarship based on her essay where she wrote about being a first generation college student in her family and her hopes of becoming a doctor so her family can live above a comfortable standard.
Two surprise $500 scholarships were awarded to two students after they won a lively random balloon popping contest.
Closing remarks were offered by NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio.
“This event fills my heart with joy,” said Lyles. “Recognizing these students for their achievements in front of their parents, our school officials, and our business community epitomizes the culture of collaboration that the Chamber of Commerce and the A+ Coalition strives to achieve every day.”
This is the second annual elite scholarship banquet and the A+ Coalition plans to build on this success year after year. The Coalition is supported by area businesses and educators who all have one goal in common, the education of our children.