NSU will honor Hall of Distinguished Educators inductees Nov. 4

Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development will honor several individuals during Homecoming Festivities Nov. 3-4. 

Honorees who will be inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Educators will be Ben LaGrone of Colfax, Phillip McClung and Janna Masson Maggio of Natchitoches; Janice Marie Barrios Moreau of Alexandria and Carolyn Williamson Burroughs of Haughton. 

Brittany Bonnaffons of New Orleans will be recognized as an Outstanding Young Professional in Education and Dr. Vickie Stevens Gentry will be honored as a Friend to Education.

A reception to honor this year’s group of inductees will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Teacher Education Center Commons.  The induction program will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Middle Lab Auditorium. 

LaGrone earned a B.S. in Agri-Business in 1984, a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1986, M.Ed. in Education Administration and Supervision in 1989 and completed 30+ graduate hours in Educational Administration and Supervision in 1994.  He is the director of the Department of Teaching and Learning for the Natchitoches Parish School Board.

LaGrone began his career as a teacher and coach at Montgomery Junior High and High School, providing instruction in math, science, social studies and P.E.  He was assistant principal at South Grant Elementary for three years, then was a site administrator at Grant Alternative School before he was named principal at Dry Prong Junior High where he served from 1997-2008. He also served as a mentor principal for the Louisiana Educational Leadership Induction Program.  LaGrone was Grant Parish Principal of the Year in 2002 and was a regional finalist for Louisiana Principal of the Year.

In 2008, LaGrone was appointed principal at NSU Middle Lab School, where he created a system to ensure a safe and orderly school environment and a “learning first” culture. He has also been director of the Louisiana Gear Up Summer Camp, for eighth graders who will become first generation college students. He was Natchitoches Parish Principal of the Year in 2010. In 2017, NSU Middle Lab was named a Blue Ribbon School and in 2018, LaGrone was again named Natchitoches Parish Principal of the Year. He has served the profession in many capacities, as a member of numerous academic committees and participating in many leadership training initiatives.

McClung earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education at NSU in 1981 and a Master’s in Education in 1991. After student teaching at Winnfield High School, he began his career teaching at Georgetown High School from 1981-1984 before moving to the Natchitoches Ninth Grade Center from 1984-1991.  From 1992-2016, he was school technology coordinator and 8th grade team leader at NSU Middle Lab while he was also a supervising teacher, cooperating teacher and adjunct instructor for NSU’s College of Education and Division of Continuing Education.

During the course of his career, McClung earned several honors, including Natchitoches Parish High School Teacher of the Year, Natchitoches Jaycees’ Outstanding Young Educator and was twice named Natchitoches Parish Middle School Teacher of the Year.  He was a regional finalist for Louisiana State Teacher of the Year in 1995 and Louisiana State Middle School Teacher of the Year om 1996.  He also earned the Louisiana Middle School Association Award of Excellence in Education and APEL Distinguished Clinician for mentoring preservice teachers.

In addition to publishing articles on learning and instruction, McClung served on the Louisiana Department of Education committee that developed accountability and piloted languages arts assessment for the LEAP test and pursued technology training to implement one of the charter programs for “Computers for Louisiana’s Kids.”

Maggio is an educator with 30 years of early childhood experience that includes teaching, supervision of staff, budgeting meeting state and national early childhood program standards.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at NSU in 1992 and a Master’s of Education with a concentration in early childhood education in 2006.  Her academic and teaching experience includes eight years as a prekindergarten 3-year-old classroom primary teacher, 21 years as a prekindergarten 4-year-old classroom primary teacher and 17 years as an adjunct instructor at the collegiate level.

Maggio began her career with the Natchitoches Central Right Start program, then was a teacher at NSU’s Child Development Center for 10 years before she was named director of the CDC, where, among many other duties, she was responsible for compliance with state licensing requirements, curriculum development, budgeting, safety and training staff that included supervision and assessment of university students.

Since 2014, she has worked for the Natchitoches Parish School Board as a pre-K teacher responsible for lessons, supervision and assessment of students, testing for magnet applications and assisted with observations for preschool classes in childcare and Head Start. Earlier this year Maggio was appointed NPSB early childhood coordinator, where she prepares and implements meetings, communicates with teachers and paraprofessionals about curriculum implements, documents progress towards goals and keeps the parish in compliance with state regulations. She has also served as an adjunct instructor for NSU.

Moreau has 47 years of teaching experience with15 years in mentoring and supervision.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at NSU in 1976 and went on to earn a Master’s in Education, +15 (Academically Gifted) and +30 (Elementary Education).

Moreau began teaching at elementary schools in Rapides Parish while also serving as sponsor of school 4-H Clubs and yearbook and working as a Gifted mentor and for the Louisiana Department of Education in test preparation and writing curriculum guides.  She later focused on Gifted education, serving as Rapides Parish Gifted Coordinator and supervisor of Summer Horizons Gifted Summer Program, establishing Gifted programs at qualifying Rapides Parish high schools and developing the Rapides Parish Enrichment Academy for identifying gifted minority students. Moreau was a presenter at the National Special Education Super Conference and the Louisiana Special Education Super Conference, was a teacher and test administrator for Sylvan Learning center for 10 years and was a teacher for the Louisiana College CATS summer program.

Since 2011, she has been at Grace Christian School providing teacher in-services, analyzing test scores, training and mentoring teachers and observing and evaluating PK-12 teachers.  She is also responsible for planning and coordinating several programs, fund raisers and service projects at the school. In addition to earning numerous professional honors, Moreau is involved in numerous civic and professional organizations and an active member of St. Frances Cabrini Church. 

Burroughs served as dean and professor of science in the Division of Nursing and Allied Health at Bossier Parish Community College from 2008-2022.  As dean, she was responsible for the academic leadership of the 14 science, nursing and allied health programs offered by the Division, ensuring the continual development and accreditation of programs and developing schedules to meet the needs of the students. She also served on the BPCC Planning Council, evaluated division employees, compiled and analyzed division assessment and effectiveness documentation and provided administrative guidance in the initiation, implementation, and accreditation of new programs in Nursing (Registered), Practical Nursing, and Fire Science.

Burroughs earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology Education at NSU in 1976, Master of Education at LSU-Shreveport in 1983 and 12 graduate hours in life sciences at Louisiana Tech in 1995. She began her career as a high school biology teacher and coach in Louisiana and Texas before joining the faculty of Bossier Parish Community College in 1984 where she taught courses and lab instruction in biology, anatomy and physiology.   

Beginning in 1997, Burroughs served as division chair and associate professor of science responsible for academic leadership and administration for the academic division offering courses in science, as well as serving as program director.  In 2003, she was named division chair and associate professor of Science and Allied Health where she was responsible for the initiation, implementation, accreditation, administration, and continued development of 12 allied health programs in addition to the science program and faculty. She also provided classroom instruction of biological sciences and administrative guidance in the initiation, implementation, and accreditation of the Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paramedic, and EMT programs.

Bonnaffons, who teaches high school algebra at Hanhville High in Luling, is Louisiana’s 2023 Teacher of the Year, representing more than 50,000 teachers in the state. She graduated from the Louisiana Scholars’ College at NSU in 2003, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Business Administration from Louisiana State University, a Master of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Louisiana Monroe and a Master of Arts in Teaching from NSU in 2014.  

As Teacher of the Year, Bonnaffons highlights and enriches the work of both students and teachers. Students entering her Intensive Algebra class had scored unsatisfactorily on their middle school LEAP tests. Bonnaffons led 93 percent of her learners to pass the Algebra 1 LEAP 2025. She believes math teaches students perseverance, reasoning and problem-solving skills, while the community brings together the big picture. She currently serves as a teacher representative on the Louisiana Board of Education and formerly on the Louisiana Teacher Advisory Council working to elevate the voice of teachers in educational policy. Bonnaffons’ initiated a Tutu Tuesdays social media series which reaches over 9,000 followers weekly as it shines a light on the great achievements and everyday practices taking place with educators and learners across the country.

In 2018, Bonnaffons became the head coach for the track team. Since that time, the team has captured four district team championships, was regional runner-up twice and produced more than 50 individual district medalists, more than 30 individual regional medalists and more than 15 state medalists. Bonnaffons has been inducted to the N-Club Hall of Fame at Northwestern State University for athletic achievements, collaborates with the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference track and field championships, and gives athletes the chance to see collegiate opportunities.

Gentry retired from Northwestern State as provost and Chief Academic Officer in 2019.  Prior to that, she was dean of the College of Education and Human Development for 10 years, where she served as the leader in curricular areas and supervised faculty while teaching, advising and promoting excellence in academic standards. Throughout her career, research by Gentry and collaborators was published and presented on the state, national and international levels.  In service to the profession, she has been active in numerous leadership teams at NSU and other academic and professional organizations, earning many honors, awards and grants. 

Gentry joined the faculty at NSU in 1980 as assistant professor of physical education.  She served on faculty at LSU-A and LSU-S and was lecturer at Texas A&M University before being named head of NSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance in 2001, dean of the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development in 2006 and provost in 2016.

Gentry earned a B.S. in Health and Physical Education at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 1978, a Master’s in Health and Physical Education at University of Montevallo in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology at Texas A&M University in 1993.

Information on NSU Homecoming festivities is available at www.northwesternstatealumni.com