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Lafayette Parish School System Announces New Leadership for ACE Schools

News release- New Leadership Appointments

The Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) is pleased to announce the dynamic leaders who will drive the implementation of the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) program at J.W. Faulk Elementary School and Dr. Raphael A. Baranco Elementary School for the upcoming academic year, thanks to a generous $4.1 million donation from the Pugh Family Foundation and other philanthropic partners.
 

Cayce Otwell

Ms. Cayce Otwell
Principal of Dr. Raphael A. Baranco Elementary School

With a career spanning over two decades in education, Ms. Cayce Clement Otwell brings a wealth of
experience to her new role.

Otwell is a graduate of Northside High School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she earned her master’s degree in administration. She began her educational career as a teacher in St.Martin Parish at Breaux Bridge Elementary School. In 1999, she transferred to Lafayette Parish and worked as a teacher at Charles M. Burke Elementary School for nine years. In 2008, she moved into administration by becoming the assistant principal at Youngsville Middle School. While there, she was selected as Louisiana’s Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year (2013) and Louisiana Assistant Principal of the Year (2014).

For the last eleven years Otwell has been the principal at Prairie Elementary School. In 2020, she was
selected as the Principal of the Year for Lafayette Parish School System. She currently is the Elementary
Vice-President of the Lafayette Principals’ Association and she serves on the Gifted Advisory Panel and
the Special Education Advisory Panel for Lafayette Parish School System.

Otwell is excited to take over the principalship at Dr. Raphael Baranco Elementary for the 2024-2025
school year and looks forward to working with the faculty and staff as well as the community.
 



Alysia Messa

Ms. Alysia Messa
Principal of J.W. Faulk Elementary School

An esteemed educator with 24 years of experience in LPSS, Ms. Alysia Messa will assume the helm at
J.W. Faulk Elementary School. Messa most recently served as principal Of Carencro Bob Lilly Elementary School, formerly known as Carencro Heights Elementary School.

Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, she started her teaching career teaching kindergarten at Katharine Drexel Elementary School, before transferring to Ossun Elementary School where she taught 4th and 5th Grade for 11 years.

After earning her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Messa began her career in administration as an itinerant assistant principal at Truman Early Childhood Education Center and J. Wallace James Elementary School, before moving on to become assistant principal at J.W. Faulk Elementary School, followed by principal of Carencro Bob Lilly Elementary School.

During the first six years of principalship at Carencro Bob Lilly Elementary School, Messa grew the school 20 points from a letter grade of 58.4 D to a letter grade of 78.4 B rating by the state of Louisiana. She has participated in multiple leadership professional development opportunities as well as The National Institute of School Leadership.
 



Brandon Bonner

Mr. Brandon Bonner
Assistant Principal of Dr. Raphael A. Baranco Elementary School

Mr. Brandon Bonner, a dedicated advocate for student achievement and equity, joins Dr. Raphael A.
Baranco Elementary School as assistant principal.

Bonner, a student-athlete and graduate of Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, has a decade of
experience in public education with LPSS. He began his career as a physical education itinerant
paraeducator at Youngsville Middle School and Broussard Middle School, where he also coached athletic teams. Within 18 months, he became a certified teacher and was named the full-time physical education teacher at Broussard Middle School.

Over the next six years, Bonner coached football, basketball, and track, emphasizing academic excellence and leadership to his student athletes. He created and taught a robotics elective that gave students the opportunity to earn high school credit, preparing them for Comeaux High School's robotics program.

During this time, he earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from LSU at Shreveport.
For the past two and a half years, Bonner has served as assistant principal at Judice Middle School,
where he has helped increase the School Performance Score (SPS) each year, leading the school to its
present B rating. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of
Louisiana at Lafayette, focusing his dissertation on the underrepresentation of students of color in K-12
gifted programs.
 



Amanda Sanders

Ms. Amanda Sanders
Assistant Principal of J.W. Faulk Elementary School

Ms. Amanda Sanders, a seasoned educator with a passion for instructional leadership, embarks on a new journey as assistant principal of J.W. Faulk Elementary School.

Sanders has been an educator within LPSS for the past ten years. Upon receiving her bachelor's degree in elementary education, she began teaching at Charles M. Burke Elementary after completing a student
teaching residency within the school. She taught both third grade and kindergarten while at Charles M.
Burke Elementary School.

After three years, she transferred to S.J. Montgomery Elementary School where she again taught both
kindergarten and third grade before accepting the instructional leader position. After receiving her
master’s degree in educational leadership, she became the assistant principal at S.J. Montgomery
Elementary School where she has been for the last three years.

Sanders is excited to begin this next chapter at J.W. Faulk Elementary School, working alongside the principal, faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders with the new ACE model to enhance academic performance and overall campus excellence.

Superintendent Francis Touchet, Jr. stated, “This is a bold and transformative effort to give our students a quality education. We are extremely proud to bring these exceptional leaders into these schools. Their proven leadership will provide a collaborative environment that involves all stakeholders. Focusing on
putting students first!”

About the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) Model
The Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) model is an innovative educational framework designed to
enhance academic performance and overall campus excellence. The model operates on five fundamental pillars; highly effective principals and teachers, instructional excellence, extended school day, mental health and social resilience, and parent and community partnerships. These pillars serve as the foundation for an expanded and comprehensive approach to education, fostering a supportive and
enriching environment for students, educators, and families. To learn more about the ACE model, visit
https://www.lpssonline.com/schools/accelerating-campus-excellence.

Upcoming Events

APR
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Special Board Meeting

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

APR
22

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