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ULM hosts Louisiana Educators Rising State Conference with over 700 attendees

Published March 6, 2024

Ed Rising 2024

CAPTION: Over 700 students, teachers, and volunteers from across the state gathered on the ULM campus for the Louisiana Educators Rising State Conference on February 29, 2024. 

MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe hosted the annual Louisiana Educators Rising State Conference on Thursday, February 29, 2024. The conference brought together over 700 participants including middle and high school students, current teachers and volunteers. The theme of the 2024 conference was “Discover Your Legacy.”  

Attendees began and ended the day with keynote presentations at Bayou Pointe, while venturing all over the ULM campus for presentations, panels, interactive workshops, poster showcases, and competitions. Competition categories included Children’s Literature, Interactive Bulletin Boards, Public Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, and more. 

Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the ULM Educators Rising Program Dr. Amy Weems says the Louisiana pre-educator network has grown exponentially over the past six years. “We are one of the leading states in the country in program enrollment and innovative initiatives to grow our own future educators,” said Weems.  

After a morning welcome from ULM President Dr. Ron Berry and Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis, attendees heard a keynote address from 2024 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Kylie Altier. Altier is first grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Baton Rouge. Altier shared about her early childhood struggles with reading and how her own first grade teacher inspired her to pursue teaching. In keeping with the theme of “Discover Your Legacy,” Altier shared, “My legacy isn't mine at all. It lives in the hearts of the students I have the honor of teaching and it grows every year that I stay in the classroom.” She said her message to future educators is the same message she gives to her students: “You are enough. You don’t have to be everything to every child, you just have to see every child for everything they are.”  

The closing session in the afternoon included keynotes from Louisiana New Teacher of the Year Phoenix LeBlanc from Albany Middle School in Livingston Parish and Louisiana Principal of the Year Tia Trahan, Principal of Lafayette Middle School in Lafayette Parish. Trahan shared her philosophy of “Leading with L.O.V.E.,” which she defines as “Listen, Observe, Value, and Empower.” “These four actions foster a bond, building strong relationships, among educational leaders, teachers, and students,” said Trahan.   

Dr. Weems says she hopes the Educators Rising Program will shine a light on the profession of teaching and the future of education in the state. “I want citizens of Louisiana to know that there are programs out there where people are on fire about teaching. Even though we may have struggles now, if we continue to invest in these future educators, the future for Louisiana education is going to be pretty bright,” she said.  

For more information about the ULM chapter of Educators Rising, visit www.ulm.edu/edulead