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Courtesy of Bossier Parish School Board

Every year I visit scores of our local schools as I video students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for us to use on air each morning. I have to set things up with each of the different schools' principals and several schools have made my trips to their campus an absolute joy.

One of those principals is Lisa Burns, of W.T. Lewis Elementary in Bossier Parish. Not only is she accommodating, she's always punctual, organized and truly exhibits a genuine love for her students. That's why I wasn't surprised to hear the news that she had been named the Louisiana Elementary Principal of the Year.

But now we discover she's been selected to represent the state in the 2020 National Distinguished Principals Program and will be inducted among its 2020 class at an October awards banquet in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Burns has been a Bossier Parish educator for 23 years, and for 12 of those years she's served as one of the school leaders at W.T. Lewis. Maintaining a standard of excellence, the school has earned an “A” rating each year of Burns’ term as principal, and the past two years the school was recognized by the Louisiana Department of Education as a Top Gains School and an Equity Honoree.

Recognizing that principal leadership is key to student success, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) honors accomplished elementary and middle school-level principals from across the nation and abroad whose school programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students, and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.

In an official notice from the Bossier Parish School Board, we learn:

“Today’s principals are tasked with attending to students’ social and emotional needs at greater levels, even while they give their all to drive academic success in their school communities,” said Dr. L. Earl Franks, executive director of NAESP. “NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals program recognizes the outstanding leadership of highly successful principals and is a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to outstanding school leaders.”

Recognized in her community as a passionate and innovative leader, Burns was chosen as a 2020 National Distinguished Principal for making school a place where children not only reach high levels of success, but where they are loved, supported and surrounded by inspired and empowered educators who work together to help every child succeed.

“As a second-generation Louisiana educator, I feel called to this profession and I care deeply about the work we do and the impact we have on children's lives,” Burns said. “What excites me most about this recognition is the opportunities it will provide for me to learn from some of the best principals in the nation while sharing the work that is contributing to our success in our school and district.”