Holy Cross teacher honored as Inspirational Teacher of the Year

MORGAN CITY, La. -- Stephanie Granger, a fourth-grade teacher at Holy Cross Elementary School in Morgan City, has been named the Inspirational Teacher of the Year for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

“Being named Inspirational Teacher of the Year is an exciting and humbling honor. I am thankful to the parents who allow me to teach their children. My principal and colleagues are my role models. Most of all, I am thankful for the children that I have come to love. God guides me to what I should do, and my students’ needs inspire me to give them what they need to grow,” Granger said.

In her second career, Granger has been teaching fourth grade at Holy Cross for four years. She worked as a paralegal in Baton Rouge before her family moved to Morgan City. When her daughter began attending Holy Cross, Granger started to volunteer her time there, eventually landing a position as a teacher and going back to college to become certified.

The Council of Catholic School Cooperative Clubs of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux sponsors the contest which names a teacher at each of three levels: elementary, for grades kindergarten through five; middle school, sixth through eighth grades; and high school, ninth through 12th.

Parents and students were given the opportunity to nominate a teacher they felt was truly inspirational. Granger was nominated by the parent of one of her students who was in fourth grade last school year. Granger was chosen from seven teachers nominated at the elementary level.

Her nominator wrote, “Mrs. Granger demonstrates her Catholic faith through many channels. She nurtures her students through positive relationships. She values compassion, respect, forgiveness and reconciliation. She educates the whole person and nurtures lifelong learning. She provides a diversity of creative and interesting learning experiences to enable all students to access the knowledge, skills and values required for life.”

The December edition of the Bayou Catholic defines an inspirational teacher in a Catholic school as one who “witnesses to the life of Christ, has the ability to see Christ in students, incorporates Gospel values, teaches life skills, values and respects students, impacts students’ achievements, is compassionate and understanding, goes above and beyond what is required and never gives up on a student.”

Granger and the other winning teachers were announced at the third annual Inspirational Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony which included a Mass celebrated by Bishop Sam Jacobs in October.

“They call this an inspirational teacher award, but my students are my inspiration,” Granger said.

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