Jake Bankston Named Teacher of the Year at St. Mary’s

Mr. Jake Bankston was named the recipient of the Em W. Knipmeyer Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2022-23 school year at St. Mary’s Catholic School.  Coach Bankston is the middle school history teacher, as well as the head coach for boys varsity basketball team.
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 eighteenth 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 from St. Mary’s in 1941.  Mrs. Knipmeyer was a lifelong educator who taught and was later principal of St. Mary’s. 
Coach Bankston graduated from St. Mary’s in 2016 and continued his education at Northwestern State University.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in 2021 and is currently working to obtain his Master of Science in Business Administration, as well as a teaching certification in Mathematics.  He previously served as the assistant coach for the varsity boys basketball team for three years, as well as the middle school basketball team.  In addition to his duties as teacher and basketball coach, Mr. Bankston is also the receivers coach for the varsity football team.
“Mr. Bankston embodies the mission of St. Mary’s in every way,” said Principal Jason Lachica.  “He is the ultimate team player, and loves this institution, as much as a person can love a place.  He is committed to all students and is respected by his peers. He is always willing to lend a helping hand, offer advice, and support the students.  He sets high expectations for himself, as well as his students, while giving them the support they need to reach their potential.” 
The award was presented at an All School Mass during Homecoming week.  Mrs. Joe Stamey and her daughter, Susan, joined Principal Lachica to present the award.
Pictured:  Mixon Bankston, Jill Bankston, Joe Stamey, Jake Bankston, Janet Parker, Russell Bienvenu, Parker Bankston, Jana Lucky and Jay Bankston.