Teaching a Thing or 2!

Alyvia Pierson, Staff Editor/Writer

Expectational Educators Win Teachers of the Year!






Ms. Ducote visited Stonehenge, a famous prehistoric monument, in Wiltshire, England, in June 2022.

Teacher of the Year: Ms. Kaitlin Ducote 

Zachary High alum, Ms. Ducote, is our 2023 Teacher of the Year! She graduated from Zachary High in 2007 and attended college at LSU. Ms. Ducote has taught Gifted English II and AP and Gifted English IV at Zachary High for 11 years!

“I wanted to become a teacher, because I’ve always loved English and reading, and I wanted to get people to love it as much as I did, ” Ms. Ducote said.

Feeling appreciated that she is recognized for her efforts, the title encourages Ms. Ducote to continue to be involved in school affairs, and she hopes it inspires other teachers as well.

“Becoming Teacher of the Year wasn’t something I thought about, though it is such an honor. There’s so many deserving teachers, so I was not focused having the title,” Ms. Ducote said.

Denoting the education field as a very demanding profession, Ms. Ducote believes teaching requires a specific personality. There are a lot of expectations and responsibilities that coincide with being a teacher, so Ms. Ducote thinks everyone should know the available options in the education field.

“Students only see the end product, not the behind-the-scenes work, such as grading, scheduling, and creating lesson plans. I think students should remember that what they see in the classroom is the very tip of the iceberg,” Ms. Ducote said.

New Teacher of the Year: Ms. Nicole Redmond

Feeling proud of Zachary Belles’ victory in their High Kick routine, Ms. Redmond shows off her new medal and pristine white jacket.

First-year teacher, Ms. Redmond, becomes Zachary High’s first-ever New Teacher of the Year! She is a 2017 Dutchtown High alumni and a 2022 Southeastern University alum. She teaches Honors and Regulars World Geography. Since the 2nd grade, Ms. Redmond knew teaching was her calling.  

“I eventually decided I wanted to work with high school students because I love History and how fun the classroom can be. Teenagers are still kids at heart but still can have great conversations about more complex topics,” Ms. Redmond said.   

Feeling excited about receiving this title, Ms. Redmond feels reassured that she isn’t “awful” at her job. Though it may be unconventional, it also gives her confidence in how she runs her classroom.   

“Education has to adapt to the new generation’s learning style and this title allows me to confidently try new things,” Ms. Redmond said.  

To bring more knowledge and passion into the classroom, Ms. Redmond plans to return to school this fall to achieve a master’s degree in history. 

Ms. Redmond wants her students to know she is always on their side. Though she may be hard or pressure some, she wants them to be good people. From the bottom of her heart, Ms. Redmond truly loves each of her students and wants nothing but the best for them.  

Though many belittle educators, Ms. Redmond recommends pursuing a career in education because it allows one to build meaningful relationships with their students.  

“I tell my students all the time that they’re my ‘coworkers’. We both come to this classroom to get work done and neither of us can do a good job without the other,” Ms. Redmond said.   

She couldn’t imagine any other job where she could constantly see how smart, funny, and optimistic her students were.  

“You see them grow and rise to meet your expectations. Plus, other adult jobs don’t get summer break,” Ms. Redmond said.