LSU Bound | Three Brusly High School Students Declare LSU Education at Signing Day

May 8, 2019

Baton Rouge, LA - Three students, Mackenzi Melton, Olivia Stearns, and Daija Grimes, participated in Signing Day on Monday - but this signing day was not for basketball, volleyball, or soccer. This was Brusly High School's first academic signing day. These future educators declared their intent to attend LSU and pursue their degrees in elementary and secondary education.

Melton, Stearns, and Grimes are students in English teacher Kimberly Eckert's class. Eckert was the 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year and the first recipient of the state Department of Education's fellowship. As part of her fellowship, Eckert is promoting a national initiative, Educators Rising, which cultivates educators by guiding young people on becoming accomplished teachers. Eckert hopes to further promote Educators Rising across the entire state so more students, like these exceptional future educators, consider this rewarding profession.


Mackenzi Melton signs intent to attend LSU to become a teacherMackenzi Melton, EdRising Student/LSU Bound,
signs intent to attend LSU.
Olivia Stearns signs intent to attend LSU to become a teacherOlivia Stearns, EdRising Student/LSU Bound,
signs intent to attend LSU.
Daija Grimes signs intent to attend LSU to become a teacherDaija Grimes, EdRising Student/LSU Bound,
signs intent to attend LSU.



 Photo of Mackenzi Melton wearing an LSU hat in front of a Brusly High School backdrop Mackenzi Melton is a graduating senior from Brusly High School. Throughout her high school career, she has been a member of the Brusly High Panther Sound Marching Band where she has resided as a leader for the past three years. She is a student of the inaugural Educators Rising class for Louisiana, and has taken part of many conferences and conventions, sitting in on panels and question and answer sessions. Mackenzi has also been a member of the school’s “A-Team,” a program that mentors incoming freshmen throughout their first year of high school. She has taken a plethora of AP, honors, and Dual Enrollment courses throughout her school years and is a member of the Beta Club as well as the Academic Team. She is heavily involved in her church where she takes on the role of working with the worship team as well as teaching music for VBS in the summer. She spends the summers working the WBR museum summer camp, teaching VBS, doing mission work in Haiti, and attending multiple camps. Mackenzi is enrolled at LSU for the Fall of 2019 and will major in Secondary English Education.
Olivia Stearns is apart of the Brusly High Graduating Class of 2019. She is a proud member of the Brusly High and Middle School Drama Club where she wrote and directed her own play. She is a proud pilot member of Louisiana’s Educators Rising Class. She has been in many classrooms, from high to low, gaining information and experience in every type of classroom. Olivia was also a pilot member of the Internship West program during the summer, learning the important aspects of owning a business and portraying excellent skills in customer service. She plans to become a high school french teacher in order to spread the language and culture that has seemingly died out. She also works with children under the age of four at her church, teaching a curriculum that she has tailored to their age group. Olivia strongly stands for music, equity, and diversity in the education system and also believes in helping students to find their niche.

Photo of Olivia Stearns wearing an LSU hat and standing in front of a Brusly High School Backdrop

 Photo of Daija Grimes wearing an LSU hat and standing in front of a Brusly High School Backdrop

Daija Grimes is currently enrolled as a Junior at Brusly High School. Her versatile nature has led her to partake in various school organizations. In band she served her second year as Drum Major. She participated in cheer for two years, and academic wise she serves on executive board for student council and is enlisted in Beta. As an upperclassman she dedicates her time to helping mentoring the freshman class on “A” Team. Throughout her studies Daija has taken a total of 4 Advanced Placement classes, and advocates for the important of education and has served as a panelist for the ECET2 convention. During the summer she attends leadership camps in hopes of increasing her skill level to empower others around her. Daija will be graduating in the year of 2020 and plans to attend Louisiana State University.


Pictured left to right:
Wesley Watts | West Baton Rouge Schools Superintendent, Walt Lemoine | Principal, Brusly High School; Mackenzi Melton | EdRising Student/LSU Bound; Kimberly Eckert | Teacher; Julie Mayeax | Assistant Principal, Brusly High School

Brusly Administrators and Teachers pose with LSU bound students