Denise Pritchard is a hands-on leader who uses PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES (PLCs) to build school-wide expectations for high levels of student achievement. Pritchard is a life long educator who has spent 28 years committed to making schools great places of learning. She is respected by staff members, who enthusiastically implement strategies necessary for positive change in students’ achievement. Ms. Pritchard was highly involved in the rebuilding of her school district after it was completely wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. The superintendent of St. Bernard Parish Public Schools entrusted her to open schools in the wake of the disaster. She remains a staunch supporter of the students and teachers in her school system and is proud of the progress made in the 10 years of rebirth since the storm.
Pritchard is a dedicated principal who rolls up her sleeves to get the job done. She has established mentoring programs in which older students in the school district work with elementary students to build academic and social skills. In recognizing the importance of extracurricular activities in the lives of her middle school students, she and her staff work to maintain 30 different clubs, organizations and teams for student participation. Buoyed by her far-reaching knowledge of quality instruction and curriculum, Pritchard uses data to analyze student progress, supports professional development, and fosters communication among her staff. Pritchard attends all weekly PLC meetings in order to work side by side with her Instructional Coach and teachers to develop srategies to create effective learning environments in every classroom. She completes daily walk-throughs, informal and formal classroom observations, and implements the Louisiana COMPASS Teacher Evaluation process to support teachers.
Thanks to her intrepid efforts and leadership, N. P. Trist Middle has in the past received a value-added student achievement score of 5 in the TAP progam -- the highest score possible, indicating “far above average” results compared to other schools in the state. Even though N. P. Trist Middle has a nearly 80% rate of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, the school continues to earn A or B ratings by the Louisiana Department of Education. The high poverty rate, along with the challenges of Common Core implementation, makes the academic ratings the school receives all the more impressive.
Ms. Pritchard is passionate about building the ranks of teachers throughout our nation. She believes it is extremely important to cultivate teachers capable of building long-lasting careers in education. In doing so, Ms. Pritchard has passed on her love of education to her own children. One of her sons is currently in his second year of teaching in the same district after his graduation from Louisiana State University. Her other son is in his second year at the Tulane School of Law.
1992 Norco Elementary School Teacher of the Year
2004 Joseph J. Davies Elementary School Teacher of the Year
1996 Chalmette MIddle School Teacher of the Year
1996 St. Bernard Parish Public School Teacher of the Year
2011 Louisiana TAP Leadership Team of Distinction Award
2011 Cecil Picard Louisiana Educator Excellence Honoree
2011 Member of National Association of Secondary School Principals
TAP Value Added Score of 5 Award
2015 Middle School Principal of the Year , St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
2011 Panelist at Louisiana TAP Summer Institute
2011 National Staff Development Council, Learning Forward's Journal JSD, Journal Article "Rising Above the Floodwaters", December 2011, Vol.32, No. 6, Anthony Armstrong
1988 B.S., Louisiana State University
2004 Masters of Education, University of New Orleans
2005 Elementary School Principal Certification
2005 Principal Certification & Educational Leader 2 Certification
2011 Member St. Bernard Parish Public School Reading Association
2012 Member of Louisiana Association of Secondary School Principals
2012 Member Louisiana Reading Association