Baton Rouge Parents Magazine

Teacher Appreciation Week 2024

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Action Celebrate Teachers and Their Contributions to EBR Schools

The Baton Rouge Alliance for Students and ExxonMobil Baton Rouge have partnered to honor five educators from East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. As recipients of this honor, each educator received a monetary award of $2,000. The educators were chosen based on their demonstration of the most overall growth year over year for their students. Furthermore, this partnership seeks to recognize these educators for their contributions not only to their individual schools, but to the greater East Baton Rouge Parish community. 

“We’re delighted to honor these outstanding educators and express our heartfelt gratitude for their unwavering commitment to their students and the community,” remarks Adonica Pelichet Duggan, CEO of the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students. “Their tireless dedication has profoundly influenced countless lives, and we deeply appreciate their invaluable contributions to education in Baton Rouge.”

The award recipients were Karen Duff Dillon of Geo-Prep Academy Charter School, Emmitt Glynn of Baton Rouge High Magnet School, Kieran Levy of McKinley Middle Magnet School, Amy Moore of Westdale Heights Academic Magnet Magnet School, and Katy Ullrich of Liberty Magnet High School.

“Countless ExxonMobil employees credit their thriving careers to the inspiration and dedication of certain teachers who made an impact in their lives. These recognition awards for five excellent educators in East Baton Rouge Parish are our expression of gratitude,” expresses Meg Mahoney, ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs Manager. “Teachers are contributors to our community’s prosperity and critical to the development of our future workforce. It’s a privilege to continue our collaboration with the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students in recognizing these outstanding educators.”

Below, each educator talks about their philosophy of teaching that has allowed them to serve the students of their communities so exceptionally. 

Karen Duff Dillon of Geo-Prep Academy Charter School
“As a veteran educator with over two decades of experience, my teaching philosophy is rooted in the belief that every student can learn and grow, given the proper support and environment. I approach my classroom as a nurturing space where students feel safe to take risks, ask questions, and challenge themselves academically. At the core of my philosophy is the idea that learning is an active, collaborative process. I see myself not as the sole imparter of knowledge but as a facilitator who guides students in constructing their understanding. I encourage students to grapple with concepts, connect, and develop critical thinking skills through hands-on activities, group discussions, and project-based learning. Moreover, I believe in fostering a growth mindset in my students. I emphasize that mistakes are learning opportunities, and I encourage them to embrace challenges as chances to develop their skills and resilience. By celebrating effort and progress, I aim to cultivate a love for learning and believe in their potential. In essence, my teaching philosophy is a culmination of evidence-based practices, personal experiences, and a deep belief in the transformative power of education. It shapes every aspect of my approach, from lesson planning and classroom management to building relationships with students and their families. By adhering to these principles, I aim to create a dynamic, engaging, and nurturing learning environment that empowers students to reach their full potential.” 

Emmitt Glynn of Baton Rouge High Magnet School
“As educators, we have the power to create the kind of society we all desire to live in by treating our students with the highest dignity possible while passionately teaching our subject matter.    

I constantly analyze the social and emotional well-being of my students daily. If my students have troubles outside of the classroom, as a teacher I know that this will affect their ability to learn. Another significant philosophy that has guided my career has been to do for students what I wanted for my own children and that has always been making sure they could receive a world-class education.  I strive to provide a world-class learning environment for each of my students.”

Kieran Levy of McKinley Middle Magnet School
“I see an educator’s role in our community as role models and motivators. I believe it is our job to set good examples, cultivate meaningful relationships, and introduce students to meaningful experiences.

I have a very simple teaching philosophy: Let the students know that you care about them and their learning. They will respond positively if they know that you are truly there for them. My goal is to create learners who are responsible and self-sufficient.”

Amy Moore of Westdale Heights Academic Magnet Magnet School
“The “Power of Yet” guides my teaching. Students grow and learn at different rates. Teaching my students that they just have to keep trying, because they will eventually get it might just not be happening yet!! This philosophy has really helped my students relax, understand that making mistakes is part of learning, and be patient with themselves throughout their journey!  

I believe every student is important to our classroom. All students have something to offer and when students know they are important and valued, they want to work! Building relationships with students is by far the most important part of my classroom. I want students to have ownership in our classroom and learning. 

Bringing a positive attitude every day to work is also part of my philosophy. Students deserve to have a teacher that is focused on them and positive in nature. When students are respected and treated with kindness it provides for a positive learning environment where they feel safe to grow and learn!”

Katy Ullrich of Liberty Magnet High School 
“Educators are responsible for creating and modeling the future leaders of Baton Rouge. My teaching philosophy is to educate students about the importance of computing in their future, and how they can become creators of technology and not just consumers.  I believe students learn both inside and outside the classroom, so I provide opportunities for students to compete in local and national competitions, field trips to colleges, and participate in local camps and activities.