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Education Committee


Our Mission:

The mission of the Education Committee is to work with schools and local businesses to enhance and shape the educational opportunities in the community.

Our Commitment:
As a chamber, we recognize the importance of an educated workforce and the benefit it brings to our members and students who are the future employees of the local business community that we serve. We are fortunate to have one of the strongest school systems in the state.




The 2017 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award was presented to Mrs. Therese Hotard . 

Mrs. Hotard is a general music teacher and Choral/Orff Ensemble Director at Chahta-Ima Elementary School and Bayou Lacombe Middle School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music Performance and a Music Education Alternate Certification from the University of New Orleans. She has taught music in grades K – 8 for 33 years. Mrs. Hotard was selected as the 2012-2013 Bayou Lacombe Middle School Teacher of the Year. She has prepared and conducted full choral concert programs for Veterans Day, Christmas, Black History Month, and end of the year programs. Mrs. Hotard has always promoted patriotism, flag etiquette and civic responsibility in her classroom and throughout the school. She strongly believes in leading by example and instills in her student the importance of having a sense of duty by volunteering her time in the up keep of the organic garden at Bayou Lacombe Middle School and in programs that foster keeping the school and community litter free. She also teaches her students to give back to the community by having them perform concerts at the Lacombe Senior Center. A peer said Mrs. Hotard “shares such important character traits as honesty, respect for others, intense work ethic, and pride in the community with her students on a daily basis”

Each year, the Chamber is honored to present local high school students with $1,000 scholarships to assist them with their college expenses.  

2017 Recipients were:

Kristen Delhom – Northshore High School                                    
Kristen plans to earn her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and pursue a medical or nursing career. Throughout high school, Kristen was involved with the Student Council, Fellowship for Christian Athletes and was her class representative all four years. She has played soccer for 14 years and during her senior year, Kristen was selected as the Lady Panthers Varsity Soccer team Captain leading her team to the state quarterfinals. She has been active in the community participating in the Junior Auxiliary - Juniors in Service program, volunteering at Rainbow Child Care Center and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Through all of her extracurricular activities, Kristen maintained her grades and graduated with a 3.9 GPA.

Kayleigh Reneau – Pearl River High School                                      
Kayleigh plans to attend Southeastern Louisiana University in order to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, She plans to attend LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center to receive a Juris Doctor degree and pursue her goals of practicing law. She hopes her passion for politics and learning about law will give her the opportunity to serve as a judge in St. Tammany Parish or as a Supreme Court Justice. Kayleigh has maintained straight A’s throughout high school being enrolled in gifted, honors, advanced placement and Dual Enrollment courses.  She held many leadership positions in clubs and organizations and participated on the Pearl River Rebel Golf team. Kayleigh volunteers her time helping local farmers harvest their crops, tutoring students of all ages in her community, and helping at community.  Kayleigh’s passion for furthering her education has allowed her to graduate with 38 college credit hours.

Jon Leonard – Pope John Paul II Catholic High School                  
Jon plans to attend The University of Southern Mississippi and double majoring in Banking Finance and Accounting. He plans to work in the finance industry upon completion of his undergraduate degree and one day opens his own small financial advisement business. Jon has held many leadership positions, including the National Honor Society, Student Council, STEM Club just to name a few. He was the founding member of the Chess Club during his freshman year and was a member of the Band, Soccer team, Cross Country team and Tennis team. He served as an Alter server at Our Lady of Lourdes and serves with several other Catholic Youth Organizations.  Jon was inspired by his middle school teacher who said “good enough never was” and he continues to strive to be better than “good enough.”

Riley Herdliska – Slidell High School                                         
Riley plans to attend Louisiana College and pursue a degree in Education. After completing her undergraduate degree, she will then earn a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She would like to teach and coach in the high school setting and eventually become a principal. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, Interact Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Riley was the captain of the volleyball team and was a member of the Lady Tigers softball team all four years of high school. She also plays on travel volleyball and softball teams outside of High School sports. Riley has participated in St. Tammany Toys for Tots the past five years, she helped her grandfather raise over $40,000 for the Veterans affected by the August 2016 floods in Louisiana and she volunteers her free time to offer hitting lessons to young softball players. Riley was named Ms. SHS 2017 by her peers and selected as student of the month three years in a row.

Martina Faciane – Salmen High School                                           
Martina plans to attend a university for a degree in Earth Sciences. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Martina hopes to work toward her master’s degree at Stanford then pursue a research-based career. Throughout high school, she was the Interact Club Vice President, Student Council President, National Honor Society Secretary, a Freshman mentor, and a member of the Book Club. Martina participated on the varsity tennis, cross country, and soccer teams during her high school career. Through her involvement with the Interact Club, she has completed over 300 services hours by participating in community events. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading novels, running, bike riding and studying environmental issues.

East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce
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