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EBR Students of the Year

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BATON ROUGE - Hundreds of students, parents and teachers gathered last night to celebrate the best of the best in education: the East Baton Rouge Parish Students of the Year. Dozens of students from just about every school in the system were honored for their academic achievement, leadership and community service.

"First of all, we're celebrating students, celebrating their accomplishment," EBR Superintendent Bernard Taylor boasted to News 2's John Pastorek, who emceed the event. "It's about hard work. What we want is for every child to come to school everyday and give their best effort. When they do, we're all better for it."

Lauren Chumbley from Parkview Elementary was named Elementary School Student of the Year. She wants to be an architect. Lauren was nearly speechless after the announcement.

"It's really just God's blessing, I think," she said. "It's so amazing. I'm really blessed."

Katherine "Katy" Skiles took home top honors as Middle School Student of the Year. She goes to Woodlawn Middle. Her dream is to interview First Lady Michelle Obama.

"I'm so happy that I won this when there were so many eligible people," she explained. "Everyone was so amazing. They all deserve this award."

The top high school student was Celeste Runnels from Baton Rouge Magnet High. She wants to study engineering and dreams of possibly blasting off one-day, headed for Mars.

"I'm a perfectionist, so I try to do everything I do the fullest, and I have a lot of dedication," she said when asked about her secret to success.

All three girls will now represent East Baton Rouge in regional competition. The guest speaker last night was the Hip Hop Doc, Dr. Rani Whitfield, who challenged students to work hard, dream big and serve others.

News 2's John Pastorek had a behind-the-scenes recap, this morning on 2une In.

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