Every year the Louisiana Department of Education selects regional finalists for their Student of the Year competition. On April 10th, 2019 Grade-Level Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Baton Rouge. 21 students made the cut, one 5th, 8th and 12th grader from each of Louisiana's seven regions are selected. These students attend public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools across the state.

In case you're wondering how a student is able to become a finalist here are the steps.

  1. Public schools and non-public schools submit 1 student.
  2. That student then competes with their fellow students at the school system level.
  3. Once that student has competed against their peers they advance to the regional competitions.
  4. Once the student reaches the regional level, the students are selected based on criteria that measures their academic achievement. Things like their leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and communities.
  5. Regional selection committees take the student-made portfolios which include accomplishments, student writing samples, and face to face interviews so the judges can see the student's communication and critical-thinking skills.

Check out all the finalists this year!

Grade 5:
Mallory Byrd, Hayden R. Lawrence Upper Elementary School, Rapides Parish
Olivia Malmay, Mangham Elementary School, Richland Parish
Brenna Bernhardt, T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School, Calcasieu Parish
Collin Sprouse, South Walker Elementary School, Livingston Parish
Sriram Srigiri, Airline Park Academy for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish
Matthew Plaisance, St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Richard "Ben" Blevins, Lusher Charter School, Advocates for Arts-Based Education Corporation, Orleans Parish

Grade 8:

Ava LaCour, Rapides Academy for Advanced Academics and Virtual Learning, Rapides Parish
Breanna McDowell, Louisiana School for Agricultural Sciences, Avoyelles Parish
Nelly Chan, Grand Lake High School, Cameron Parish
Madeline Temple, West Feliciana Middle School, West Feliciana Parish
Kavia Mllik, Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish
Ashley Green, Houma Christian School, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Abigail Brown, Belle Chasse Academy, Belle Chasse Academy, Inc.

Grade 12:

Hannah Berry, C.E. Byrd High School, Caddo Parish
Graham Grunsky, Sterlington High School, Ouachita Parish
David Spicer, Sulphur High School, Calcasieu Parish
Mary Barrow, West Feliciana High School, West Feliciana Parish
Kaylee Bourgeois, Lutcher High School, St. James Parish
Jacob Duplantis, E.D. White Catholic High School, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Keyana Zahiri, Benjamin Franklin High School, Advocates for Academic Excellence in Education, Inc., Orleans Parish

Congratulations to Hannah Berry from C.E. Byrd High School!