Eleven Future Teachers Awarded Clausen Scholarships

Eleven Future Teachers Awarded Clausen Scholarships – Dec 12, 2005

Education Majors at Five Universities Recognized

BATON ROUGE — Eleven education majors at five Louisiana universities have been awarded scholarships that not only provide traditional financial help, but also offer professional development in areas like classroom management and personal assistance in the early, critical years of teaching.

“This multi-faceted scholarship program offers much more than money. We plan to track the students and to follow up with pertinent, hands-on assistance in their early years of teaching. That’s the critical time when nearly half of all teachers leave the profession,” said Dr. Sally Clausen, president of the University of Louisiana System.

“Our universities guarantee the teachers they produce, and these scholarships from the system level help reinforce our pledge of better prepared teachers for Louisiana’s schools,” she added.

The scholarship program was established in 2002 after the death of Thomas Clausen who served as Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education between 1984 and 1988. The scholarship also honors the memory of Kyle Clausen, Thomas’ son, who died in 2003.

The future educators were presented their Clausen scholarships and $750 at a meeting of the UL System Board of Supervisors on Friday in Baton Rouge. The scholarships are funded through private donations to the UL System Foundation.

The scholarship program also received a pleasant surprise Friday as ULS Foundation Chairman Rev. Chris Andrews announced that Sugar Woods of Shreveport, the mother of ULS Board Chairman Mike Woods, had donated $10,000 to help fund future Clausen scholarships.

“Mrs. Woods was very impressed with the program and the quality of the students, and she wanted to help the foundation and the scholarship program,” said Andrews.

This year, 32 education majors applied for the scholarships. The eleven winners were selected by a panel of judges, based on their applications, letters of recommendation and essays about the importance of teaching. As a group, the winners have a grade point average of 3.7 out of 4.0 and are involved in an array of university and community service activities. Each student, also, has completed at least 45 hours of college credit.

The 2005 Thomas G. Clausen Scholarship winners are:
Shoyla Bryant of Plain Dealing, La., senior at Grambling State University, majoring in elementary education
Ericka Knight of Schriever, La., senior at Nicholls State University, majoring in elementary and special education
Susanne Jones of Natchitoches, La., junior at Northwestern State University, majoring in elementary education
Joby Richard of Creole, La., junior at Northwestern, majoring in mathematics education
Jamie Lynn Breaux of Rayne, La., senior at Southeastern Louisiana University, majoring in special education and elementary education
Matthew Chauvin of Reserve, La., senior at Southeastern, majoring in middle school education
Vangie Davidson of Kaplan, La., senior at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, majoring in early childhood education
Jenna Lachney of Mansura, La., junior at UL Lafayette, majoring in art education
Jamie Oplt of Lafayette, La., sophomore at UL Lafayette, majoring in social studies and French secondary education
Amanda Shackelford of New Iberia, La., senior at UL Lafayette, majoring in secondary English education
Annemarie Wikstrom of Broussard, La., senior at UL Lafayette, majoring in elementary education