School Climate & Safety Opinion

Louisiana Gives Teacher Mercedes Benz

By Alexander Russo — July 19, 2007 3 min read
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Thanks to a friend for passing this one to me. They really know how to do things down there, I guess.Louisiana Department of Education

Post Office Box 94064 | Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9064 | 1-877-453-2721 | Fax: (225) 342-0193

Date: 7/16/2007
Contact: Meg Casper, (225) 342-3600, Fax: (225) 342-0193



Baton Rouge, LA – The 2007 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, Carole Leah Price of Zachary High School, had no idea she would be walking away with the keys to a black Mercedes Benz tonight as part of the Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration. The top teacher in the state was surprised during an evening recognition gala at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center in Baton Rouge. Price will be able to drive the car for one year through a lease provided by Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge.

One hundred educators from across the state attended events throughout the entire day hosted by the Louisiana Department of Education. The culminating evening event included food, music from Deacon John and the surprise unveiling of the car for Price. Honorees included the 2007 State Superintendent of the Year, the 2007 State and Regional Principals of the Year, the 2007 State and Regional Teachers of the Year, the 2007 LaLEADS graduates, the 2007 Milken Award Winning Teachers and the 2007 National Board Certified Teachers.

“Teachers work tremendously hard during the entire school year,” said State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek. “That’s why we wanted to host a summer gala for our best educators so that they could network, share ideas and be recognized for the great jobs they do, and not have to worry about going to school the next day,” Pastorek said. “In all seriousness, the teachers and principals that we honored throughout the day are the backbone of our educational system. They are shaping the lives of our children, and we all enjoy thanking them in this very special way.”

“I am so pleased to see the business community, especially Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge, step up to the plate to say thank you to our educators in such a meaningful way,” said Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Linda Johnson. “I just about died when I saw that beautiful car. It makes me want to be Teacher of the Year,” Johnson said.

In addition to the vehicle, Price also received $1,000 worth of jewelry from Cohn Turner of Baton Rouge as well as other gifts. The statewide Teachers and Principals of the Year received $500 checks, Dell Computers, Community Coffee service for their school for one year, Coca-Cola products for their school staff for one year, Promethium World smart boards and SMART Technologies software. The 2007 Regional Teachers and Principals of the Year winners received checks for $250. All of the day’s honorees also received gift bags filled with smaller gifts and tokens of appreciation from organizations and businesses across Louisiana.

“This year’s event would not have been possible without the support of the business community throughout our state,” said Pastorek. “They came to us and wanted to play a major role in honoring our best educators, and they really came through.”

Named sponsors for the Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration are: Entergy Louisiana, Capitol One Bank, Chase Bank, Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge, Holiday Inn Select Executive Center, Promethean World, Community Coffee, Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Dell Computers and Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (APEL).


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