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JP Schools Announces 2024 Students of the Year

Jefferson Parish Schools (JP Schools) named its district winners for the Louisiana Department of Education’s Students of the Year program. These individuals are now eligible to compete at the state-level to become the 2024 Louisiana Student of the Year.

This year’s honorees for JP Schools Students of the Year include: Adalina Kaiser, Airline Park Academy; Smaran Tamidela, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy; and Sophia Parigi of Thomas Jefferson Academy.

“Congratulations to our Student of the Year Award recipients. Their exceptional academic achievements, passion to help others, and desire to make the world a better place are a testament to how deserving they are of this award. These students have a promising future, and I’m proud that they are recipients of this award,” said Superintendent Dr. James Gray. 

Adalina Kaiser, Airline Park Academy: Adalina Kaiser is an ecstatic 5th-grade student at Airline Park Academy for Advanced Studies. She dedicates time to helping others in her community and works hard every day. Outside of school, she has dedicated her time to dancing for the past nine years where she has learned hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, tap, ballet, and technique. When she is not dancing she cheers for Galatas Playground which led to a win for the Kenner Spirit Bowl. Adalina has also participated in softball for 8 years at Mike Miley Playground where her team was undefeated champions in 2020. As well as the many activities she has participated in, she has received many recognitions and awards. Throughout her school years, she has received the Golden Eagle award, Eagle PRIDE award, Superintendent’s award, and honor roll. Besides awards, she is very involved in school activities such as Talented Visual Art, the school’s dance team (the Eaglettes), student council assembly, and helps with the morning meeting show. 

Smaran Tamidela, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy: Smaran Tamidela is a hard-working 8th-grade student at Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy. While keeping an A average, he has participated in many in-school activities such as the National Junior Honor Society, being a representative for SGA, serving as team captain in the Lego Robotics club, being a mentor in the debate club, and being a team captain/goalkeeper for the soccer team. Throughout his school career, he has received the all-A’s Honor Roll award, Student of the Year award, Superintendent’s Award, 2nd place in the Louisiana youth writing contest, and has won numerous debate tournaments alongside his team. While he is very focused on his studies, outside of school he took up a passion for technology and introduced himself to basic fundamentals in coding, which led him to win a Macbook Pro for being recognized as one of the top coders in the Jefferson Parish 01 EDY Course against high schoolers. 

Sophia Parigi of Thomas Jefferson Academy: Sophia Parigi is a goal-driven senior at Thomas Jefferson Academy. She often spends her time dedicating twenty-five hours a week to music and a portion of this time is devoted to sharing Italian and New Orleans culture through performance. Her love of music grew from her grandfather who was an Italian musician. As she learned from him, she learned Italian fluently and started performing in a chorus of Italian operas through the New Orleans Opera. When she is not involved in music, she leads her senior class as vice president, serves as a member of the Superintendent’s Leadership Council, is involved in the National English Honor Society, and exercises her talents in the Talented Music and Theater program. After high school, she plans to double major in music performance and international politics and explore other related interests related to these disciplines. For her career, she plans to work in national politics while furthering her music career to continue her advocacy for various issues nationally.