Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Biedenharn Foundation marks decade milestone of investing in Bossier teachers

by BIZ Magazine

An initial investment first made 10 years ago by the Biedenharn Foundation has evolved into hundreds of Bossier Parish teachers seeing their ideas for classroom dreams and educational enhancements become reality.

Last week, the holidays came early for another 26 educators at the 10th Annual Sydney Biedenharn Educators Endowment awards ceremony. They will split $60,000 in grant funding, bringing the total amount invested in Bossier Parish to $455,000, all thanks to the generosity of the Biedenharn Foundation. The endowment was established in memory of Sydney Biedenharn, who taught in Bossier Parish and whose children attended schools in Benton.

The 10-year milestone was particularly meaningful for Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey, who is retiring at the end of the month and knew Biedenharn.

“Sydney Biedenharn may have gone on to work in the family business at Coca-Cola Bottling in Shreveport, but in her heart she remained a teacher,” Downey said. “She knew that education opens doors and provides our young people with opportunities to achieve success, no matter what they choose to do or where life leads them. It has been an honor to carry her legacy forward and a charge that Bossier Schools will continue to do long after I have retired.”

Elementary winners of the 2023-24 Sydney Biedenharn Educators Endowment are: Jennifer King, Benton Intermediate; LeaAnne Nelson, Curtis Elementary; Jade Boyd, R.V. Kerr and Karen Meadows, Princeton Elementary.

Middle School recipients include: Heather Middlebrooks, Harley Nance and Jenny Traweek, all from Benton Middle; Kevin Rabon, Cope Middle; and Emory Bray, Jo Desselle, Kimberly Knotts, Martha Maxey and David Jandowski, all from Elm Grove Middle.

High school winners are: Jamie Hill, Airline; Katelin Breaux and Dawn Young, Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning; Michelle Harp, Haughton High; Stephenie Marze, Parkway; and Cati Wall, Emily Curr, Angela Wilson and Emily Wilson from Plain Dealing High School.

Those receiving grants in other Bossier Parish programs are: Patricia Kimbrough, Butler Educational Complex; and Megan McMillian, Jennifer Moreland and Anna Beth Witherington, who are instructors in the Talented Arts Program.

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