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Lafayette Parish School System

Principal Bricelj Receives Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership

Catherine Bricelj

The Lafayette Parish School System is pleased to announce that Ms. Catherine Bricelj, principal of Myrtle Place Elementary School, has been selected as a 2022 recipient of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership by the U.S. Department of Education. Principals chosen as Terrel H. Bell Award recipients have transformed their schools. Their vision and collaborative leadership styles have produced outstanding results for all of their students to develop academically, emotionally, physically, socially, and culturally. 

Under her leadership, Myrtle Place Elementary moved from a “C” rated school to an “A” school. While many programs and services contributed to the school’s academic success, Principal Bricelj believes deeply that creating a school culture that emphasizes strong relationships, building trust, and focusing on what is needed to support everyone is the secret. She believes the best way to create this culture is to first take a step back, listen and observe, and meet students where they are. This foundational belief is what led Principal Bricelj to create a school program that uses data and observation that tells a story about each individual child so that teachers can tailor instruction to meet their needs. 

“Principal Bricelj sets the standard for exceptional school leadership and is deserving of this prestigious honor. Her exceptional leadership continues to impact her students, staff, and school community. Principal Bricelj leads with passion, sets high expectations, individualizes instruction for each child, and works right alongside her staff in providing a high quality education to the students of Myrtle Place Elementary. We are extremely proud of her, and grateful for her service.” states Superintendent Trosclair. 

About the Terrel H. Bell Award
Principal Bricelj will be presented with the award in November during the National Blue Ribbon Schools ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Terrel H. Bell Award recognizes outstanding school leaders and the vital role they play in guiding students and schools to excellence, frequently under challenging circumstances. Secretary Terrel H. Bell held education as his highest priority, trusting that all students would find it, as he had, their personal key to success. The Bell Award honors Secretary Bell’s memory and celebrates school leaders who are realizing his vision of excellent education for every student. 

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