BATON ROUGE, La--A state-of-the-art learning institution decked out with all the latest in technology, gadgets and learning methodology might be impressive, but when it comes down to fostering a learning environment for students, the quality of a school can only be measured in the caliber of its educators.
Perhaps this is why Rosepine Elementary School has been so successful in recent years. Its top administrator, Principal Carolyn Bosley, was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Principal of the Year by the Louisiana Department of Education. She and eight others, including Alexandria Senior High School Principal Duane Urbina, were named as finalists for award and will be honored alongside the teacher of the year finalists at the 9th Annual Cecil. J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration on Saturday, July 11 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge.
Bosley said great educators are at the heart of great schools.
"You have to have great teachers before anything, I feel so incredibly blessed to have them. I think absolutely you have to have high expectations of yourself, your teachers, your students and your staff. You don't want to settle for mediocrity," she said. "I'm a competitive person, but it's not to do better than the next person, it's about doing the best for yourself. I think the biggest thing is having high expectations."
She said her teachers often volunteer their time outside of the classroom to assist in remediation, enrichment and tutoring for students, with many coming in a half hour early every day before class. She said the teachers are always looking for ways to help give students a better shot at learning and to their foster growth.
Under Bosley's tenure, Rosepine Elementary has seen significant growth. When she became an administrator, the elementary earned a "C" letter grade for its school performance score. In just two years with Bosley at the helm, Rosepine Elementary was an "A" -rated school, a feat that normally takes at least three years according to Vernon Parish School Board administrators.
Vernon Parish Superintendent James WIlliams said the honor is well-deserved and reflects the level of commitment of educators in the school system.
"We are very proud of Mrs. Carolyn Bosley, Principal at Rosepine Elementary School, in her selection as a finalist for Principal Of The Year for the State of Louisiana," Williams said. "Carolyn is a very hard working, dedicated principal that has deep concern for her students, her faculty and staff and her school. She is an exemplary example of the hard working employees we have in the Vernon Parish School Board System that make our schools the best they can possibly be."
Bosley said she always knew she wanted to work with children, so the choice to become a teacher was a natural one. She has been with Rosepine Elementary for 16 years, with three of those years as its principal. She taught at the school for 13 years, and also served as a coach for other teachers for a year.
The event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers, a non-profit that seeks to celebrate the state's best educators and help to foster communication with policymakers.
Click here to see the complete list of finalists.