Ascension Parish teacher to be recognized at White House
GONZALES - An Ascension Parish public school teacher will be recognized at the White House with the distinction of being one of the “great educators across the country.”
Duplessis Primary School master teacher Shaneka Burnett will travel to Washington D.C. to attend an event at the White House recognizing the National Teacher of the Year, State Teachers of the Year and other educators across the nation.
"I am grateful for the opportunities Ascension Public Schools, TAP and NIET have provided for me to grow professionally. That support is the reason I have been awarded this honor," she said.
Burnett has previously been recognized on a national level while working as a Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) mentor teacher at Lowery Intermediate, now known as Lowery Middle.
While there, one of Burnett’s teaching lessons was filmed by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) and has been used throughout the institute’s system to train TAP educators and evaluators.
“Shaneka Burnett is a great example of a TAP master teacher who has excelled in her work in Ascension Parish with students and colleagues, but has also played a role nationally in promoting the teaching profession and highlighting the importance of strong classroom instruction for student achievement.," Kristan Van Hook, NIET Senior vice president for policy, said.
“She is part of a team in Ascension Parish that has been recognized nationally for their outstanding results with all students, and particularly those with the highest barriers to learning," she said.
Burnett began teaching in Ascension Parish in 2006 teaching math at Lowery Intermediate for one year before serving five years as a TAP mentor teacher at the school. In 2012, she moved to Prairieville Primary to teach fifth grade. In 2014, she became the instructional coach at Duplessis Primary and is in her first year as a TAP master teacher.
According to Burnett, the goal of a master teacher is to improve student achievement and help teachers strengthen their instructional practices. She conducts weekly meetings to present new lesson plans based on identified student needs and helps teachers analyze the quality of work for each student.
Burnett is a Baton Rouge native and earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Dillard University in New Orleans. She earned a master's degree in Elementary Education from Southern University.
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