Vote to Help Louisiana School Take the Next Step in Prestigious Global Competition!

June 18, 2024

Vote to Help Louisiana School Take the Next Step in Prestigious Global Competition!

Woodmere Elementary of Jefferson Parish School System in Harvey, Louisiana, celebrated a global accomplishment on June 13 after being named a top-ten finalist in the World’s Best School Prizes’ Overcoming Adversity category - but the worldwide competition isn’t over yet. Now, Woodmere – the only U.S. school in the category “Overcoming Adversity” – needs votes to advance in the competition. 

World’s Best School Prizes’ Overcoming Adversity category highlights schools worldwide that see adversity, challenges, and obstacles as an opportunity to learn and grow. Selected schools are honored for the way they shape and support their students and community, all while keeping a positive outlook on themselves and their future, managing challenging events and circumstances, and becoming resilient.

How to Vote

To vote for Woodmere, visit the World’s Best School Prizes’ page and search for Woodmere in the search bar, or scroll through the schools to find them below. Voting ends on June 28, 2024, so be sure to get your vote in before the window closes! 

There are five categories in the World’s Best School Prizes, and the top three in each category are named in September. The five category winners will be announced in November, and each will receive a $50,000 prize. If awarded the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity, Woodmere plans to continue its mission to empower students to thrive despite challenges and become resilient and successful individuals.

Why Woodmere Stands Out

Woodmere’s story of overcoming adversity includes recovering from the devastation of two hurricanes - with Hurricanes Katrina and Ida destroying parts of the school. Despite school closures, dampened morale, and extensive building repairs, Woodmere students persevered through these two natural disasters – even growing academically during this time period.   

Under the leadership of Principal Givonna Hymel, Woodmere achieved a School Performance Score increase from 37.4 to 58.8. Attendance surged by 8.1%, K-3 literacy rates rose by 19 percentage points, and enrollment grew from 275 to 498 students. This remarkable progress led to state recognition as a 2022 Louisiana Comeback Campus and national recognition as a 2023 NIET School of Promise.

“Education is a road everyone should want to travel with an open mind. While traveling on that road you will encounter roadblocks, but you must keep moving to reach your level of academic success,” Principal Givonna Hymel said. “At Woodmere, we are so proud of our accomplishments and thankful for the recognition.”

Superintendent Dr. James Gray commended the school for reflecting the district’s commitment to perseverance and student support. “Congratulations to Woodmere Elementary for making it to the Top 10 shortlist for the World’s Best School Prizes 2024 in the Overcoming Adversity category!” Superintendent Gray said. "This is an amazing accomplishment! Overcoming adversity is no easy task, but your resilience, dedication, and hard work have truly shone through. In the face of challenges, you have shown remarkable perseverance, strength, and unity."

Visit the World’s Best School Prizes website for more information on this global award and to vote to bring further recognition to this outstanding school. 

About NIET

NIET is a partner of Jefferson Parish Schools, supporting its great classroom teaching by building the capacity of teachers and leaders. For more than two decades, NIET has partnered with schools, districts, states, and universities to build educator excellence and give all students the opportunity for success. NIET's initiatives, including the TAP System, teacher and leader development, school improvement, rubric and observation systems, and educator preparation, have impacted more than 300,000 educators and 3 million students across the U.S.

About Jefferson Parish Schools 

Jefferson Parish Schools is the largest and most diverse public school system in Louisiana and the 98th largest in the nation. The system of 74 schools serves approximately 47,000 students on both banks of the Mississippi River. With approximately 6,000 employees, JP Schools is one of the largest employers in Jefferson Parish. The district exists to provide the education its students deserve to succeed in life and make the world a better place.