Cynthia Hillhouse Named Teacher of the Year at St. Mary’s

Mrs. Cynthia Hillhouse, a second grade teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Natchitoches, was named the recipient of the Em W. Knipmeyer Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2021-22 school year.

The Em W. Knipmeyer Excellence in Teaching Award is the highest honor bestowed on a member of the St. Mary’s Faculty. This is the 17th year the award has been presented. It is given annually by Mrs. Joe Stamey, a 1952 St. Mary’s graduate, in honor of her sister Em who graduated in from St. Mary’s in 1941. Mrs. Knipmeyer was a long time educator who taught and was later principal at St. Mary’s. Mrs. Stamey is proud of her long time association with St. Mary’s where all of her children and several grandchildren graduated.

Mrs. Hillhouse received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Mississippi in 1993. She continued her education by earning a Master of Science in School Counseling from Mississippi State in 2008. She has her National Board Certification in School Counseling. When she joined the St. Mary’s staff in 2019, Mrs. Hillhouse had a total of twenty five years in education as a teacher and as a guidance counselor.

“Mrs. Hillhouse embodies the St. Mary’s school mission in every way,” said Principal Jason Lachica. “She is committed to her students and is respected by everyone who has had the honor of working with her. She sets high expectations for herself, as well as her students, while giving them the support they need to reach their potential. She is not only a wonderful teacher, but a dedicated mother, wife, and daughter. She puts everyone before herself and is an absolute blessing to our school”

The award was presented at a school assembly for weekly mass.

Pictured are: Father Blake Deshautelle (Chancellor), Mrs Joe Stamey, Cynthia Hillhouse and Jason Lachica (Principal).