University of New Orleans senior education major Raquel Boudreaux has been awarded the Tom and Kyle Clausen Scholarship.
The $625 award is given annually to four University of Louisiana System undergraduate students who are admitted to a teacher education program and maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average. Preference also is given to those who intend to teach in a shortage area such as math, science, special education or in middle school, those who are native to Louisiana, and those who demonstrated a financial need.
Boudreaux, 24, is a senior studying special education and elementary education, is from Metairie. She is a graduate of Archbishop Chapelle High School. She said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but as she advanced in her studies at UNO, she discovered what a need there is for great teachers in the field of special education.
"I truly love kids," she said. "I can't wait to bring that fun and loving attitude to the classroom."
Janice Janz, associate professor of practice in special education and habilitative services, said Boudreaux is a class standout who offers thoughtful and worthwhile contributions to class discussion and turns in high-caliber assignments. She is considerate of the needs of diverse populations and, Janz said, works well with her fellow classmates.
“During the spring 2016 semester, I was impressed with her enthusiasm for the classroom experience in special education,” Janz said. “She demonstrated strong professional skills, took the initiative to research the literature, and collaborated with both general and special education teachers for strategies to address the needs of the students with whom she was working.”
The scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Thomas Clausen, a former teacher who served as Louisiana Superintendent of Education from 1984 to 1988, and his son Kyle. Prior to Thomas Clausen’s death from cancer, his family established the scholarship fund to recognize outstanding teacher candidates and to encourage them in their careers.
Those who receive the scholarship agree to maintain contact with the University of Louisiana System office for three years after graduation to report on their teaching careers. In return, scholarship winners also have access to periodic professional development seminars.
Boudreaux is on track to graduate this December.