St. Mary Chamber honors students and teachers

St. Mary Parish Schools Assistant Superintendent Teresa Bagwell presents the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce’s High School Teacher of the Year award to Yvette Lake of Berwick High on Thursday night.

The St. Mary Arts and Humanities Council presented scholarships to three students Thursday night. From left are Ashlyn Pittman and Maggie Martin of Berwick High, Mary Beth Blanchard of Central Catholic High, and Arts and Humanities Council Board President Scott Berry.

The St. Mary Chamber of Commerce presented South Central Louisiana Technical College’s Young Memorial Campus with a $2,000 scholarship donation during the Chamber’s Annual Education and Appreciation Night at the Patterson Area Civic Center. From left are Chamber Chairman Bob Harrison, SCLTC Regional Director Earl Meador and Young Memorial Campus Administrator Anthony Baham.

The St. Mary Chamber of Commerce presented a $1,500 scholarship to a student from each high school in St. Mary Parish at its Annual Education and Appreciation Night. The recipients with District Attorney Bo Duhe from left are Amber Madison of West St. Mary, Loreal Johnson of Patterson, Diana Tran of Morgan City, Caitlin St. Blanc of Hanson Memorial High, Christian Arias of Centerville, Alexandra Aucoin of Central Catholic High, and McKenzie Baumgartner of Berwick High. Not pictured is Nekeiah Gibson of Franklin.

PATTERSON — Students and educators in St. Mary Parish were honored Thursday night in an event that doubled as a scholarship fundraiser.
The St. Mary Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual Education and Appreciation Night Thursday at the Patterson Area Civic Center. The night included silent and live auctions to raise money for scholarships, the awarding of scholarships along with recognition for student and teachers of the year.
District Attorney Bo Duhe served as master of ceremonies for the night, while state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, and Public Service Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Scott Angelle served as auctioneers for the live auction.
The chamber awarded $1,500 scholarships to a student from each high school in St. Mary Parish in addition to a $2,000 scholarship donation to South Central Louisiana Technical College. The $1,500 scholarships were awarded to McKenzie Baumgartner of Berwick High, Alexandra Aucoin of Central Catholic High, Christian Arias of Centerville High, Nekeiah Gibson of Franklin High, Caitlin St. Blanc of Hanson Memorial High, Diana Tran of Morgan City High, Loreal Johnson of Patterson High, and Amber Madison of West St. Mary High.
The scholarships were selected based on high academic achievement in addition to involvement and leadership in school and community activities, Duhe said.
Aucoin received the student of the year award. Aucoin will attend Nicholls State and major in pre-med and hopes to continue to medical school and start her own practice.
The St. Mary Arts and Humanities Council also awarded scholarships to Mary Beth Blanchard of Central Catholic High and Maggie Martin and Ashlyn Pittman of Berwick High.
Chamber officials presented the St. Mary Parish high school teacher of the year award to Berwick High teacher Yvette Lake.
Lake is a 14-year veteran of the St. Mary Parish school system, and is currently a civics teacher, St. Mary Parish Schools Assistant Superintendent Teresa Bagwell said.
“At Berwick High School, she has established a reputation for motivating students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of our nation’s democracy,” Bagwell said.
“Her creative and inspiring instruction has acted to build civic competence and responsibility among students who will soon become voters and community leaders,” Bagwell said.
Lake also sponsors a student government organization that’s active in building student application of governmental principles at the school level, Bagwell said.
Though other teacher of the year recipients were not present at Thursday’s event, the chamber also announced teacher of the year awards for elementary and junior high schools.
The awards were given to Melinda Lanclos of Raintree Elementary and Loraine Sinitiere of Patterson Junior High.

This story was written by Zachary Fitzgerald of The Daily Review staff. Reach him at zfitzgerald@daily-review.com.

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