Ferriday native honored to be State of Louisiana Teacher of the Year finalist

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

St. JOSEPH — A Ferriday native has received high praise this summer for her work as an educator.

Kalandra Loyd, who teaches fifth grade at Tensas Elementary School in St. Joseph, has been part of a group that started at more than 200, was whittled down to 24 and finally she is one of the nine chosen as a State of Louisiana Teacher of the Year finalist.

“My initial thought upon being chosen was an outburst of praise, then the realization that I could possibly be the next State of Louisiana Teacher of the Year,” she said. “I am elated to have such an accolade bestowed upon me.”

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The finalists will be honored and the ultimate winner of the award will be announced at the Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration Friday in Baton Rouge.

“Sometimes, we as educators feel our hard work and efforts seem unnoticed,” Loyd said. “But it’s moments like this that permit you to go beyond the call of duty to ensure all children are educated and becoming successful members of society.”

The finalists gathered for a group meeting in June, and Loyd said she came away with a few ideas.

“During this meeting, we conversed about multiple learning strategies and engagement techniques to continue promoting success within our classrooms,” she said. “It was indeed an honor to be amongst such great educators.”

Loyd, who earned a master’s degree in teaching from Alcorn State University in 2013, said she believes she was selected because of her unique teaching style and ability to accelerate and challenge students. She teaches reading, English, math, science and physical education.

“I usually get, ‘Wow, that’s a lot,’” Loyd said. “I have a purposeful passion for what I do and teaching multiple subjects permits me to implement my unique teaching styles cross-curriculum to ensure all students exceed expectations.

“Teaching gives me the platform I need to ensure every child reaches their purpose in life and leaves no stone unturned to achieve their goals.”

Loyd said she was inspired to go into education after being taught by the late Carl R. Dangerfield, long-time band director at Ferriday High School. Loyd graduated from the school in 1997 and did her undergraduate work at the University of Louisiana at Monroe..

“He was an outstanding teacher, a mentor, a father figure, and most of all a true friend,” she said. “Mr. Dangerfield was a well-respected man and always did what was best for his students.”