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Posted Date: 02/07/2024


Employees eligible for annual honor serve in roles such as bus driver, food service, clerical, custodial, etc.

(BATON ROUGE, LA) - The Louisiana Department of Education today announced finalists for the state’s Outstanding School Support Employee awards program. The 10 finalists represent schools across Louisiana and a wide range of professions. Employees eligible for the annual honor serve students and families in roles such as teacher’s aide, bus driver, food service worker, clerical, and custodial.

“Congratulations to each of these valued professionals and thank you for the difference you make in the lives of students, families, and teachers,” said Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “I know the vital role these individuals play in the successful operation of our schools and the education of students.”

The finalists for the 2024 Louisiana Outstanding School Support Employee Awards are:


  • Lafayette Parish: Maria Yaraure-Reyes (Paraprofessional/ Katharine Drexel Elementary)
  • Ouachita Parish: Malcolm Gay (Paraprofessional/George Welch Elementary) 
  • Plaquemines Parish: Consuello Nicole Sylve (Custodial/Belle Chasse Primary)
  • West Feliciana Parish: Eric Mendel (Paraprofessional/Bains Elementary)


  • Caddo Parish: Carlton Hardy (Security Coordinator/ Caddo Middle Career & Technology)
  • Jefferson Parish: Neil Perry (Custodial/Marrero Middle)
  • Livingston Parish: Ashley Guzzardo (Clerical/ North Corbin Junior High)


  • East Feliciana Parish: Leo Brown (School Bus Driver/ East Feliciana High) 
  • Evangeline Parish: Tonya Soileau (Clerical/ Pine Prairie High) 
  • Jefferson Davis Parish: Deidra Reed (Clerical/Jennings High)

An overall state honoree and the finalists will be recognized during the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) meeting on April 10. Finalists were selected among over 700 nominees submitted from across the state. All public school systems were eligible to make one selection per category: elementary, middle, and high school.

The LDOE recognizes that outstanding school support staff are critical to school success. Annually, the Department recognizes and celebrates some of the state’s most exceptional school support staff through the Outstanding School Support Employees award program. This program provides the opportunity to acknowledge those support employees who have rendered time and talents beyond the call of duty. These staff exemplify Louisiana’s best in the education profession and play an integral role in school and student success.

Selections were based on the following criteria: display of outstanding leadership qualities in inspiring or motivating others, evidence of service or achievement above and beyond what is expected in the usual school operation, professionalism in her or her role as a support to the operation of the school, in addition to other specific factors such as skill and dedication, plans to continue active employment, respect and rapport with students, respect of and rapport with parents, respect of and rapport with coworkers, and community leadership.