Two LSU School of Education Students Named to Louisiana Future Educator Honor Roll

May 6, 2022

BATON ROUGE, LA – Two LSU School of Education students have been named to Louisiana Board of Regents Future Educator Honor Roll. Hannah Bryant and Emily Kleefisch were honored by Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Kim Hunter-Reed, and State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley for being named Louisiana’s Future Educator Honor Roll. Bryant and Kleefisch were among 35 future teachers in the state recognized by the Louisiana Board of Regents in a program at the Louisiana’s Old State Capitol on May 3rd.Hannah and Emily holding their award certificates

Hannah Bryant will graduate in May with a degree in early childhood education. After graduation, Hannah will begin teaching Pre-K-4 at Our Lady of Lourdes in Slidell, LA. As a future early childhood educator, Bryant's passion is educating the whole child by forming meaningful relationships and establishing a collaborative environment. “When I found out I received the Future Educator Honor, I was overwhelmed with feelings of honor and accomplishment. I felt honored to be able to represent LSU and the School of Education by receiving this distinction. On the other hand, I felt a sense of accomplishment for having the hard-work and dedication I have put into my four years in this program recognized on a state level,” said Bryant. “The Early Childhood Program at LSU has provided me with the most experience possible to be ready for the profession of teaching. I have been able to teach in many different environments, interact with students of varying age groups, form relationships with current members of the field, and advocate for young children.”

Bryant is grateful for her diversity of experiences. She credits Dr. Piestrzynski for her positive influence, serving as her university supervisor throughout her student teaching and helping her learn how to be a reflective practitioner. Bryant also credits Mrs. Zittrauer and Mrs. Foy, second grade teachers at the University Laboratory School, for helping her grow as a teacher in numerous ways. “My time in [Mrs. Zittrauer and Mrs. Foy’s] classroom allowed me to form my philosophy as a teacher, learn how to build relationships with my students, discover the type of environment I wanted to teach in, and fall in love with teaching,” said Bryant. “Most importantly, I would like to thank my parents. My parents allowed me to come to this wonderful university and have supported me every step of the way. They encouraged me to choose a profession that I love, and I could not be more grateful for their love during my four years at LSU. The School of Education and Louisiana State University will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I am forever grateful that I have been given the opportunity to leave my mark at LSU.”

“Hannah is an extremely hard worker who teaches engaging lessons,” said Laura Piestrzynski, PhD, “She constantly uses self-reflection to improve her practice. Her mentor teacher valued her joyful presence in the classroom and stated that she was an incredible role model for students, peers, and colleagues. Hannah is a true professional who loves working with children.”

Emily Kleefisch will graduate in May with honors, the distinction of Distinguished Communicator, and a degree in early childhood education. In the fall, Emily will begin her teaching career in kindergarten at Prairieville Primary in Prairieville, LA.  She currently serves as the Vice President of the LSU Early Childhood Association and previously served as an LSU Ambassador.

“It was so rewarding standing alongside over 30 future graduates and teachers from colleges across Louisiana. I look forward to teaching the future generations and inspiring them to follow their dreams!” said Kleefisch. “I was honored to represent LSU and the Early Childhood Education Program. I truly believe this program has prepared me for my future classroom. Dr. Eisworth has been my student teaching supervisor and has gotten to see me grow over this past year. I want to thank the wonderful teachers I had throughout my life that inspired me to follow my dreams. I want to thank the fabulous mentor teachers who helped mold my teaching philosophy and classroom management style. My mentors have taught me how to differentiate instruction, teach the whole child, be a reflective teacher, and how to be the best version of myself.”

“From the first observation of Ms. Kleefisch, she has demonstrated a confidence and poise usually not seen in our student teachers. Since then, she has continued to show growth in all areas,” said Hillary B. Eisworth, PhD. “In class, she was a regular participant in class discussions. Her contributions were thoughtful and evidence of her ability to connect field experiences to various topics in education, such as classroom environment and management, family engagement, developmentally appropriate practices, and the teaching-learning cycle.”

Ms. Kleefisch was fortunate to complete field experiences in a variety of schools, which served a diverse population of students and families. This has included experience in multiple grade levels, in public and private schools, and in general education and inclusion classrooms. In each setting, she worked closely with her mentor teachers to plan appropriate and engaging instruction while remaining sensitive to the academic needs of students by differentiating instruction effectively according to those needs.

The Early Childhood Program at LSU is designed in alignment with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Standards of Professional Practice. The program offers a bachelor’s degree (B-K and PK-3 Teacher Certification), a Master’s of Education, Educational Specialist degree, and a Doctoral degree in Education.

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