Alumna Bates receives Early Educator of Color award from NCTE


School of Education Secondary Holmes graduate Jalissa Bates is one of six educators in the nation to receive the 2015 Early Educator of Color award from the National Conference of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Bates graduated from LSU in 2010 with her BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and earned her MA in secondary education and teaching in 2012. Established in 1990, the Holmes: MAT in Secondary Education is a rigorous 12-month graduate program leading to a Louisiana teaching certificate in grades 6 – 12 and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

“Being an LSU Holmes cohort greatly impacted my career by providing the foundation of a solid networking family and realistic expectations of the teaching profession,” Bates said. “Without my field experience, I would have never known how to navigate as a new face in an already established school climate, its seasonal woes and glows, and administrative expectations. As a Holmes cohort, I had another graduate student within arm’s reach to exchange observations, laughter, and concerns without fear of judgment.” 

“One of the purposes of the Secondary Holmes Program is to create teacher leaders, like Jalissa, who go onto contribute to the field of education locally, nationally, and internationally. She exemplifies the Holmes mission of bringing together theory and practice and inspiring future teachers,” Dr. Jacqueline Bach, Associate Professor, Elena & Albert LeBlanc Professor of English Education, School of Education, said.

Bates has taught secondary education in public, private, and charter schools in Louisiana. She is currently teaching at Baker Middle School for the City of Baker School System.

She gets her English “fix” on Saturdays and during the summer working for LSU's and Baton Rouge Community College’s Upward Bound program, a historic federal program for first-generation college students.

Bates is an English educator, poet, journalist, and cofounder of the Young Scholar Society, which is dedicated to English educators of color and their reflections and experiences in the urban classroom.

This award supports early career teachers of color as they build accomplished teaching careers as active NCTE members. The award provides Bates with two years of support from mentor Dr. Kimberly Parker, English teacher at the Cambridge, Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Ma.

About SOE

The LSU School of Education offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Research, and Counseling. The school’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues.

Visit the School of Education at

About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education is a nationally accredited division of LSU. Formed in 2012, the college brings together programs and capitalizes on individual strengths to create a dynamic new college that addresses the socially significant issues we face as a state and nation. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer eight undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The college is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at