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St. Bernard Reading Council Hosts Annual Awards Banquet

St. Bernard Reading Council Hosts Annual Awards Banquet 
The St. Bernard Reading Council held its annual End of Year Banquet at the Maumus Center recently which was a celebration of great food, award presentations, and a changing of the guard as next year’s leadership team takes office.
The St. Bernard chapter of the Association is the largest in the state and a testament to the district’s commitment to literacy. Throughout the year, the group shares reading strategies, activities and tips at a number of gatherings throughout the parish while also giving back to the community through donations and service projects for a number of local organizations and charity groups.
At the event, the Council also recognized the outstanding contributions of its individual members. This year’s winners included:
LRA Media Award: Arabi Media Team (Hena Jaber & Amanda Falgout) 
LRA Educator of the Year: Erin Johnston
LRA Teacher of the Year: Mary Cochrane
LRA Education Administrator of the Year: Magen Arabie
LRA Principal of the Year: Dedra Major
LRA Service Award: Paula Chunn
Librarian of the Year: Erica Svoboda
Membership Award: Gauthier Elementary School
Legislator of the Year: Doris Voitier
LRA Retirees: Lee Anne Harlton, Dedra Major, Mary Cochrane, Phyllis Peabody, Mindy Decker
This year’s banquet was also a tribute to long-time Reading Council  member Marilyn Westfall, an educator and literacy advocate in the parish,  who passed away this school year. Serving as ELA Coordinator for the school district for many years, Ms. Westfall was a dedicated officer for the Reading Association and this dedication was an apt one for her legacy of learning. 
Incoming President Marcey Fradella said she is proud to lead such a dedicated group of educators. “I’m excited for the upcoming year and can’t wait to continue spreading literacy through our community.”  She said the focus of next year is to also increase membership at the middle and high school level as well as expanding its outreach programs while still hosting fun activities and professional development opportunities for the members. “Together, let’s make the coming year our most impactful one yet, filled with growth, learning and community spirit.”