While many were celebrating an impending snow day last night, a joyful group of educators and students braved the cold with zeal to celebrate the parish’s teachers at the Heymann Center for the annual LEF Teacher Awards.

Each year hundreds of the area’s educators are nominated — this year more than 350 — in categories including elementary, middle, high school and an inspirational teacher. Those teachers are surprised during the annual Pin Patrol from Lafayette Education Foundation as volunteers head to each school to announce the nominees. The field is quickly narrowed to 16 who arrived in their best on the red carpet last night to applause and camera flash a la Hollywood awards season.

The Teacher of the Year Awards went to:

Lynn Mcelroy, Woodvale Elementary School

Victoria Landry, LJ Alleman Middle School

Kirk Baudoin, Lafayette High School

Rachel Allen Gaspard, Paul Breaux Middle School (inspirational category)

The top 16 LEF 2014 Teacher Awards Finalists

Elementary School Category

JoLynn Dean, J. Wallace James Elementary, 2nd Grade

Lynn McElroy, Woodvale Elementary, 2nd Grade

Jessica Mouton, Evangeline Elementary, Librarian

Lindsay Nardini, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School, 3rd Grade

Middle School Category

Josie Abington, Youngsville Middle, 7th Grade Math

Annette Chapman, Paul Breaux Middle, 7th Grade Science

Michelle Lakhotia, Judice Middle, 7th Grade Math

Victoria Landry, L.J. Alleman Middle, 5th-8th Grade Choir

High School Category

Kirk Baudoin, Lafayette High, 10th-11th Grade Health Sciences

Sandra Broussard, Comeaux High, Speech and Debate

Matthew Canone, Comeaux High, 11th Grade English

Kevin Martin, W.D. Smith Career Center, Cosmetology

Inspirational Category

Rachel Allen Gaspard, Paul Breaux Middle, Special Education

Catherine Harper, Judice Middle, 7th Grade English and Language Arts

Lisette Henderson, Comeaux High, Spanish and REAL Program

Amy Ruddock, Lafayette Christian Academy, 3rd Grade

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