Joni Smith, a 7th grade science teacher, STEM educator and the 2017 Louisiana State
Teacher of the Year, has been named Southeastern Louisiana University’s 2018 Young
Alumnus of the Year. She will be officially recognized at the Southeastern Alumni
Association Awards Evening to be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, during Homecoming
“We are pleased to honor Joni Smith as our Young Alumnus of the Year,” said Alumni
Association President Beth Carney Ebberman. “Using her depth of knowledge in science
and math, Joni became a STEM enrichment teacher in the science classroom at Albany
Middle School. She has been identified as a Master Teacher in her school and district
and is often asked to help other science/STEM teachers in their classrooms.”
Smith graduated from Southeastern in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in general studies
and has been teaching for 10 years. In addition to being named the 2017 Louisiana
State Teacher of the Year, an honor which earned her special recognition at the White
House during an Oval Office ceremony with U.S. President Donald Trump, she was also
named the 2018 Louisianan of the Year.
“As an educator, I embarked on a journey to remove the negative labels from my students
and replace them with positive ones. The students owned up to their identities and
became leaders both in the classroom and in their community,” she said. “All students
are just one caring adult away from being a success story. I may teach in a small
town, but I have a big vision to be a bold advocate for students, no matter their
Alumni Awards Evening will include recognition of several Southeastern faculty and
staff and alumni, including Alumnus of the Year for 2018 Tom Akers, retired president
of trading at Metal Exchange Corporation.
Tickets for the event are available from the Alumni Association by calling 1-800-SLU-ALUM or online at southeastern.edu/homecoming.
Thursday, September 13, 2018 3:02:44 PM CDT