JP Schools Honors its 2021 Students of the Year
Jefferson Parish Schools named its winners for the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2021 Louisiana Students of the Year Awards Program.
The winners are:
- Leeland Pratt Parten, 5th grade at Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies
- Hisham Kahoot, 8th grade at Chateau Estates Elementary School
- Rachel Guan, 12th grade at Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies
“We were honored to present our student of the year awards and share this very joyous occasion with this group of deserving students,” said Dr. James Gray, Superintendent for Jefferson Parish Schools. “It was a pleasure to see their genuine reactions and enthusiasm when we revealed they had been selected to represent their school and grade level as Jefferson Parish Students of the Year. The pride displayed by their parents, school staff and their peers was a memorable and heartwarming experience for all. These three individuals are well deserving of this honor.”
The honorees will now compete in the regional Student of the Year competition, and the winners will qualify to become a 2021 Louisiana Student of the Year. The Students of the Year Awards Program is designed to recognize outstanding elementary, middle, and high school students. This program recognizes students who have demonstrated excellent academic and/or Career and Technical achievements, leadership ability, and citizenship. The Students of the Year Awards Program is sponsored by the Louisiana State Superintendent through the State Department of Education and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Leeland Pratt Parten
Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies
Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies 5th grader Leeland Pratt Parten is the JP Schools Elementary School Student of the Year. Parten is an honor roll student and exceeded expectations on the LEAP test. Aside from her studies, Parten enjoys running with Youth Run NOLA and taking part in track and basketball with Pontiff Playground. Her parents have fostered in her a strong appreciation for the arts, and Parten participates in Talented Art and Talented Music as a drummer.
“I try my hardest to recognize other people’s hardships and help them the best I can, even if it is just giving them alone time. Overall, I think that everyone, including me, should always stay positive and choose joy,” said Parten.
Chateau Estates 8th grader Hisham Kahoot is the JP Schools Middle School Student of the Year. Consistently achieving the Honor Roll, Kahoot is a model student, actively participating and engaging in class even now that he is learning virtually. He entered Jefferson Parish Schools in 3rd grade as part of the English as a Second Language program. A testament to his drive and determination, Kahoot tested out of the ESL program at the end of his second year. Having lived in Pakistan for six years, Kahoot values the American education system. He believes everyone has the right to an education and wishes to give back to less fortunate communities.
“My parents have always prioritized education, and I also believe that a strong educational system is necessary for the development of an individual,” said Kahoot. “I believe that education or knowledge is a basic right and everyone should have an equal opportunity to gain it. Where you live should not dictate how much you can learn or grow.”
Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies
Haynes Academy 12th grader Rachel Guan is the JP Schools High School Student of the Year. Guan is both an academic scholar and a leader in numerous school-based activities and organizations. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and has pursued some of the most rigorous courses offered at Haynes Academy as a National AP Scholar. Her list of extra-curricular endeavors includes serving as president of her school’s Key Club and Environmental Club, vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and Rho Kappa, team captain of Mock Trials and various other leadership positions in Youth and Government, National Honor Society and Environmental Club. Guan also enjoys running with her school’s Varsity Track and Varsity Cross Country teams, and performing violin at school and in various festivals. Outside of school, Guan also serves as the district board member for United Way Mission Ignition.
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Guan credits her parents with instilling a strong work ethic, independence, passion and tenacity.
“Who I am now is a brewing culmination of all moments passed, and the sincere urge to help others in a meaningful way guides my actions, giving me purpose,” said Guan. “As my identities unfold, I’ve learned to revel in the humility and perseverance that my parents have instilled in me. Their examples motivate my own values, but it’s up to me to apply them to my life. So with new perspectives, I strive to use each of my experiences to discover, share, and impact—to inspire and be inspired.”