The Lafayette Parish School System has announced the hiring of five new principals.
Kristian Barbay, Principal J.W. Faulk Elementary School
Kristian Barbay began her journey in teaching to change the world one child at a time. However, being a teacher has been a profession that has changed her.
Barbay started her teaching career in Iberia Parish as a physical education teacher fourteen years ago. At Jeanerette Elementary, Barbay served in the role of a mentor teacher with the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP). TAP is a process within the National Institute for Excellence for Teaching (NIET) for teacher and student advancement. It is a comprehensive approach to establish sustained structures of rebuilding educator excellence and increasing student achievement growth.
After two years, she moved into a master teacher position, where she provided high-quality support and coaching to teachers in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. During her time as a master teacher, the school performance score increased from 45.6 (F) to 85.7 (B) in one year, and maintained this status the following school year.
In St. Mary Parish school district, Barbay was an assistant principal at Hattie Watts Elementary School, a Leader In Me School for three years. After much success in this role, Barbay became the principal of Lagrange Elementary School in Franklin, LA. Under her leadership, Lagrange Elementary school performance score improved from an F status to a C status.
Barbay holds a Bachelor of Science in physical education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a Master of Education in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Holly Boffy, Principal W.D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center
Holly Boffy is returning to the Lafayette Parish School System as the principal of the W.D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center. Boffy said, “Career credentials are the bridge many students need to a positive and productive future after high school graduation. I look forward to working with the school system and the community to help create opportunities for students to earn those credentials and find good first jobs.”
Boffy will continue to represent southwest Louisiana on the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. She was selected as the 2010 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year while teaching at Paul Breaux Middle School, worked at the national level for the Council of Chief School Officers, and most recently founded EdTalents to provide education consulting services.
Courtney Zammit Breaux , Principal Cpl. M. Middlebrook Elementary School
Courtney Breaux brings over 20 years of experience to this new role as principal of Cpl. M. Middlebrook Elementary School after the retirement of the previous principal. Breaux has served as an educator and content coach for 15 years. She began her career as a teacher at Live Oak Elementary School and Ridge Elementary School where she taught first through fifth grades oftentimes initiating the moves to different grade levels in order to learn more and gain further experience about curriculum and instruction. After earning her master’s degree, Breaux served as a district content coach and moved to administration. She has five years of administrative experience as an assistant principal at the elementary and middle school levels. Schools under her tutelage include J.W. Faulk Elementary School, Truman Early Childhood Education Center, and Paul Breaux Middle School. Most recently she has served as an assistant principal at Billeaud Elementary School.
Each experience in the classroom and leadership role has been the cornerstones which have been built upon and have afforded tremendous professional growth which Breaux considers priceless. Breaux states, “I believe there is greatness in all of our students, and so I work each day to make sure they believe that about themselves too. I want to impress upon them that hard work and dedication is all that is needed to reach their full potential.”
Breaux earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and secondary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from UL Lafayette.
Roneka Coleman, Principal S.J. Montgomery Elementary School
Roneka Coleman has 14 years of experience as an educator. She recently served as senior program specialist with the National Institute for Excellence for Teaching for the last two years. Prior to joining the NIET team, she served as TAP principal of Village East Middle in Terrebonne Parish for four years, the first school to implement the TAP model in the district.
During this principalship, she led the school to achieve an average of 5 points growth in the academic index each year of implementation. She also served as assistant principal at Village East, TAP master teacher, and assistant administrator in Iberia Parish. In Terrebonne Parish, she served as an English language arts classroom teacher.
Coleman holds a bachelor's degree from Nicholls State University, a Master of Education in educational leadership from Kaplan University, and is a current doctoral student at the University of Holy Cross-New Orleans pursuing a Doctorate of Education in executive leadership.
Heather Olson, Principal Broussard Middle School
Heather Olson has 21 years of experience in education in Lafayette and Iberia Parishes with 18 years serving as a teacher. Most recently she has served three years in administration at Broussard Middle School.
Olson’s goal is to provide an inclusive, caring, and rigorous learning environment that engages
students and challenges them to grow academically, socially, emotionally, and creatively to reach their full potential.
Accomplishments include being named a Teacher of the Year and District Teacher of the Year (2013 - 2014) for Edgar Martin Middle School. She was also named a Teacher of the Year (2017 - 2018) at Broussard Middle School. In addition, she is a contributing author of the book titled “Strengthening Mathematical Reasoning Among Middle School Students with Hidden or Unmet Potential.”
Olson holds a Bachelor of Arts in both special education and elementary from Northwestern State University, a Master of Education in educational technology & leadership from McNeese State University, and a certification in educational leadership from Northwestern State University.