During the regular meeting of the Vernon Parish School Board, board members recognized the 2019 Vernon Parish Principals of the Year recipients.

Carolyn Bosley, with the Vernon Parish School Board, explained that the state sets the guidelines on how the principals are selected then, they are selected by their peers.

Each recipient was then read a letter that was written by their staff and presented with a plaque.

Sandra Blakeway, principal of Rosepine Elementary School was chosen as Vernon Parish Elementary School Principal of the Year for 2019.

"Ms. Blakeway has great plans to move our school forward while developing our students into future leaders. She exceeds the standards required to receive this honor and will represent our district with dignity and pride," said the faculty and staff of Rosepine Elementary School about their principal.

Blakeway comes from a family of educators and has been an educator for 30 years.

She taught 3rd grade at Anacoco Elementary for many years. She was the assistant principal of Rosepine Elementary before becoming the principal.She said that being selected is "a great honor."

The Vernon Parish Middle School Principal of the Year is Kathy Bass of Evans Junior High School. Bass has been dedicated to Evans Schools and its students for a really long time.

She graduated from Evans in 1986, then worked as a paraprofessional at Evans for two years before going to college to get her teaching degree. After graduating college, she returned to Evans where she taught for many years before becoming the principal.

Teachers at Evans describe Bass as hard-working, fair, firm, approachable, encouraging, motivating and passionate. She has always been eager to adapt to any changes made at the school and works hard to make Evans the best school it can be.

Under Bass' leadership, Evans School performance scores had the most growth in Vernon Parish making them an "A" rated school this year. She continually encourages her students to be the best they can be.

Leesville High School Principal Tamela Phillips was chosen as Vernon Parish High School Principal of the Year.

"Phillips is always willing to do what is right and what is fair. She will not compromise her integrity just to what is popular."Mark Mawae, Leesville High School Assistant Principal said.

Phillips challenges the students, teachers and staff at Leesville High School to be the best they can be with the goal of making Leesville High School the best that it can be.

She is known for making decisions based on what is best for the students, her main priority.

Phillips taught for 16 years before serving four years as assistant principal. She has been the Principal at Leesville High School for three years.

She feels very blessed to have spent her entire 23 years in education as a Wampus Cat.

School Board Superintendent James Williams expressed his appreciation to the principals for the dedication and efforts to their schools.

"Being a principal is a tough job. There's so much going on - so much accountability and responsibility" Williams said.

COL Jarrett Thomas, Fort Polk Garrison Commander and Vernon Parish School Board Member said: “It is always great to recognize excellence, and it serves to inspire others down the road."