A dream came true for Brusly High School and West Baton Rouge Schools Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Eckert.
The Louisiana Department of Education announced Eckert, a ninth grade teacher at Brusly High, as the 2018 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year at the 11th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Awards Gala on Friday, July 28. Eckert is the first teacher from the School District to earn this honor.
“Kim Eckert is very deserving of this award,” West Baton Rouge Schools Superintendent Wes Watts said. “She is always enthusiastic, goes above and beyond, and truly cares about her students. We are so proud of Kim and how she represents West Baton Rouge Parish.”
Receiving this award is something she never could have dreamed of, Eckert said.
“I received this incredible honor, for doing what so many other educators do every day: Teaching with all my heart,” Eckert said.
Eckert has taught for nine years and has been at Brusly High School for three years. She began teaching on the West Side in 2008 as a special education teacher at Port Allen Middle School. During her six years at PAMS she also served as a reading interventionist, a mentor teacher and a master teacher.
She has received multiple accolades during her career, including the district’s Teacher of the Year award while she taught at PAMS.
She will not soon forget being surrounded by the Brusly High administration, faculty and her husband as she was announced the winner, she said.
“I was able to experience an unbelievable moment where the colors had never been brighter, my heart had never beat faster, the smiles had never been warmer and all while time stood still for me,” Eckert said.
Brusly High School has been given many academic and athletic honors, but this is something different, BHS Principal Walt Lemoine said.
“We have been fortunate to have some teams win a championship, we have had students reach individual accomplishments, but Mrs. Eckert winning the State Teacher of the Year was all that rolled into one,” he said. “She is very deserving of this award and it is something that Brusly High and West Baton Rouge can be proud of.”
Eckert said that since the moment she was named as a semi-finalist, she has been standing in awe of the other teachers, rejoicing in their triumphs and stories as she does her own.
“After all, we’re all writing different chapters of the same adventure… one with the happiest of endings where every child in the state of Louisiana receives the highest quality education, has everything they need to fearlessly stand before their futures and has the confidence and daring to dream their biggest dreams yet.” Eckert said.
Dream Teachers, the Louisiana Department of Education, Eckert’s husband and past state teachers of the year were among those Eckert thanked.
While she had many people to thank for helping her get to where she is, she was most thankful to her students.
“Thank you to every single sweet baby I ever taught,” she said. “Without you there wouldn’t be much me.”