The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board recently announced the parish’s teachers of the year for elementary, middle and high schools.
Ashley Rills of Brusly Elementary, Susan Tullier of Brusly Middle, and Danielle Lamotte of Port Allen High each received Teacher of the Year honors for their work in the school system.
“These ladies rep the best of the best,” said outgoing WBR School Superintendent David Corona, who retires at the end of the month. “To be teacher of the year in West Baton Rouge is a real honor because we have lots of good teachers. They are the reason our system continues to move forward.”
Charlotte Blanchard, WBR Schools’ Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, said that each of the women were nominated as their respective school’s teacher of the year. She said that each parish school’s teacher of the year submitted an application portfolio and instructional video explaining their teaching methods and philosophies and providing teaching/classroom data.
“These portfolios are judged by a committee at the central office by central office supervisors,” Blanchard explained. “Then they go on to submit it to the state department. But, unfortunately, none of ours, this year, made the regional or the state.”
Ashley Rills was named the elementary school teacher of the year.
Rills, math interventionist at Brusly Elementary, said that she was shocked when she found that she had been awarded the honor.
“It means a lot to know that people recognize the work that I’ve done and I just appreciate it,” said Rills, who has been at BES 11 years – as a first grade teacher for nine years and math interventionist for two. “Being from here, it makes me proud, it makes me feel good to represent my community, since I have grown up here. I feel like I’m giving back now.”
Rills, who graduated from Brusly High School, is married to Scott Rills and has two children.
Susan Tullier was named middle school teacher of the year.
Tullier, who will spend her first year as math interventionist at Brusly Middle this coming school year, said that she’s proud to represent her school and the parish as teacher of the year.
“We have some amazing teachers at Brusly Middle School under Callie Kershaw’s leadership,” said Tullier. “She’s created a supportive environment and all of us work hard together to make the school better, so the competition for teacher of the year is pretty stiff – there’s so many who are deserving.”
She said that knowing that her peers selected her to be the school’s teacher of the year meant a lot to her.
“I am a part of a community and I see these people all the time. It means a lot to me, coming from the community, to be selected. It’s very gratifying,” she said.
Tullier said she’s lived in the Brusly area for 10 years, though she’s worked at Brusly Middle for five years. Teaching for 15 years, Tullier has also worked at Holy Family School, St. Joseph’s Academy and Sherwood Middle Magnet School.
She has two daughters, one of whom was BHS’s valedictorian in May and will be attending ULL in the fall. Tullier’s youngest daughter will be entering kindergarten this coming school year.
Danielle Lamotte was named the parish’s high school teacher of the year for the second time since 2011 when she was awarded the same honor.
Lamotte, career awareness teacher at Port Allen High, said that she was surprised when her name was called as PAHS’s teacher of the year, as she wasn’t aware that voting had even taken place for the honor.
“I wasn’t at school that particular day,” she laughingly claimed of the day the teachers’ votes were cast. “I come to work to do what I love to do. It’s not about the pats on the back, though it’s good to have that. But it’s good to think … that my colleagues thought so highly of me.”
Lamotte, whose class has recently been renamed from “journey to careers” to “career awareness 1,” said that she’s thankful that she is able to daily do a job she loves, and make a difference in the lives of her students.
“It’s great to, from your kids, see that you’re making a difference, but for your colleagues – the people that do the same thing that you do every day – for them to think so highly of you to say ‘this person deserves this award,’ I think it’s a big accomplishment,” she said.
Lamotte has been teaching for 10 years – nine years at Port Allen High School, and one year at Brusly High.