PATRICK F. TAYLOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY
Principal: Zapico, Jaime
- M.Ed in Administration, University of New Orleans
- B.A. Elementary Education, University of New Orleans
For the past nineteen years, I have had the privilege of teaching English Language Arts to honors level and advanced middle and high school students. After getting my B.A. in Secondary English Education from U.N.O., I taught English to grades eight through twelve at Archbishop Chapelle High School for sixteen years. I began teaching in Jefferson Parish Public Schools at Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies, and I spent a year at Marrero Middle School before joining the Patrick Taylor faculty. Currently, I am pursuing my Master’s degree with a concentration on Gifted Education while sixth and seventh graders delight me in the classroom.
Traci Bourgeois earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Science in Biology from Mississippi State University. Traci teaches Marine Biology, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Physical Science, as well as Pre-Engineering.
Butler, Karen Verret (“Kay”)
- PFTSTA Founding Teacher (Mathematics, Engineering, Technology, Gifted)
- Sponsor: Mu Alpha Theta (HS Mathematics Honor Society)
- Co-Sponsor: MATHCOUNTS (MS Math Club)
- PAC Faculty Representative
- Certification / Education:
- LA Teaching Certificate: Secondary Mathematics, Biology, Academic Gifted
- National Board Certification: Adolescent and Young Adult Mathematics 2007
- PLTW Certification: Introduction to Engineering Design 2005
- PLTW Certification: Gateway to Technology 2004
- Education Specialist: Curriculum & Instruction / Academic Gifted - LSU 1996
- Master of Arts: Curriculum & Instruction / Mathematics - LSU 1996
- Bachelor of Arts: Education / Mathematics / Biology - Nicholls State 1991
- Associate: General Studies – Delgado Community College 1989
- JPPSS Graduate (19?? HINT: “Go Pelicans!” :) What’s my alma mater?)
Chalastaras, Athanasios “AC”
AC was born and raised in Greece. He moved to USA for a tertiary education upon completion of his secondary education. In the USA, he completed an English Language Certificate from Delgado Community College. He transferred to University of New Orleans for an undergraduate degree in the school of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, which interestingly enough has become one of the top schools in the nation for that program. However, Mr. Chalastaras realized that physics was the subject of choice for a graduate degree. Therefore, he completed a Master’s Degree in experimental Physics with the thesis option from the University of New Orleans. He continued with another Master’s of Science degree of theoretical physics at Tulane University and he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theoretical Physics. In the meantime, he is concurrently working on a Master’s of Arts in education at Xavier University, which will also yield a permanent teacher certificate. Athanasios speaks proficiently both English and Greek.
Counselor: Durant, Wendy
- M. Ed Counselor Education, University of New Orleans
- Master’s + 30 Counseling Studies, Capella University
- B. A. Secondary Social Studies Education, University of New Orleans
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Certified Guidance Counselor
- National Certified Counselor
- Registered Play Therapist
- B.S. Health and Physical Education - University of Southwestern Louisiana 1981
- B.S. Special Education - University of Southwestern Louisiana 1981
- Health and Physical Education Teacher
- Athletic Director
- JV Coach Volleyball
- JV Coach Girls Soccer
- HS Girls Track Coach (Indoor & Outdoor)
- Chairman Safe & Drug Free Schools
- Middle School Math teacher--7th
- Middle School Student Government Sponsor
- B.S. Mathematics Secondary Education from the University of New Orleans
-Currently pursuing M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction at UNO, focusing in Secondary Math and Gifted/Talented Education
- Louisiana Teaching Certificates: Secondary Mathematics, Secondary Social Studies, Mild/Moderate Special Education K-12
- National Board Certified
- M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, LSU
- BS. Biological Sciences, LSU
- Certified 7-12 Science and Gifted Education
- 6 years teaching
My undergraduate degrees from LSU are in History & Geography. I am currently pursuing an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction and Masters + 30 at UNO. I am Secondary Social Studies certified and am working on a Gifted/Talented certification. I sponsor the PFTSTA middle and high school quiz bowl teams.
My undergraduate degrees from LSU are in Mass Communication: Journalism and English (May 2007). I received my Masters in Education from LSU in August 2008, and am currently working on my Gifted/Talented certification.
- Strayer Community College, Manassas, Virginia (Now Strayer University) (BSBA) December 1994
- University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA - Paralegal Studies, Certificate, May 1997
- University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA - Social Studies Certificate, February 2005
In August of 2006, Ms. Kahn was hired to create the first library at PFTSTA. During that time she has won three Laura Bush Foundation grants and a Beyond Words grant to stock the shelves with quality literature. In 2007, she won a visit with author Tiffany Trent sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of which she is a member. She was also named the 2011 School Librarian of the Year for Louisiana by the Louisiana Association of School Librarians. She was presented with the Gale TEAMS Award for Middle School in 2011. Ms. Kahn loves being a school librarian as it is a job that fulfills her passion for books, reading and technology.
You can visit the library 24/7 by following this link: http://pftstalibrary. com.
All readers are welcome.
Kelley Nides, Karen
- PFTSTA Mathematics Teacher since 2005
- Algebra, & Geometry
- M.S.T. in Mathematics from Loyola University
- B.A. in Education from the University of New Orleans
- JPPSS Graduate
- Academic Games Coach
Bachelor & Master's degree from the University of Wisconsin (Madison)
- M.Ed. with an emphasis in educational technology from Northwestern State University
- B.S. Business Administration from the University of Florida (major: finance)
- Louisiana Teaching Certificates: Secondary Mathematics, Computer Literacy, Computer Science, Educational Technology Facilitator
- BME (Bachelor of Music Education) University of Louisiana Monroe
- MM (Master of Management in statistical process control) University of Redlands
Taught Middle school and high school band for eight years before entering the United States Navy Music Program as an instrumentalist, and later served as Drum Major/Ceremonial Conductor for US Navy Band Great Lakes near Chicago, Illinois. The great Lakes band was started by John Philip Sousa in 1918. After a two year stint as an executive for the Illinois State Retirement Systems, I returned to my two passions: education and music. I am proud to be the Director of Bands at PFTSTA
Mrs. McEwen received her BA in Mathematics from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi and her MST in Mathematics from Loyola University, New Orleans. She has taught all levels of mathematics from Seventh Grade through Calculus and Statistics in both public and private schools for more than 30 years.
Bachelor of Fine Arts earned in sculpture at Newcomb College. Master of Arts in Teaching visual art earned in painting and drawing studies at Tulane University.
National Board Certification in teaching visual art, early adolescent through young adulthood. A teacher in the Talented in Visual Arts program since 1994.
Dr. Simpson began teaching at Taylor in August 2005. She has taught Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry and Senior Project. Dr. Simpson is the sponsor of the Science Fair Club that helps students prepare entries for regional and state science fair. Her hobbies include French, birding, tennis, gardening, and traveling.
I have had the pleasure of teaching English at Patrick Taylor for the last 7 years. My education spans a period of more than forty years. I began teaching a self-contained sixth grade class at Kenner Junior high January 1968, moving to Riverdale in the fall of 1968. I taught at Riverdale for twenty-three years, leaving Riverdale in 1992 to take a job as a central office administrator. I served fourteen years as English Language Arts consultant and library consultant. In 2005 I began teaching at Patrick Taylor as the high school English teacher and English department head.
I received by BA in Education in 1968 from LSUNO with a major concentration in English and a minor concentration in social studies. In 1972 I received my masters of education from Loyola University in school guidance and counseling. In 1975 I finished my plus thirty with a certification in administration and supervision. After my plus thirty, I have taken courses in English, particularly Bible as literature when I was granted a Fellowship at the University of Indiana in 1974 and in curriculum from UNO.
St. Julien, Leslie
- B.S. Earth Science, University of New Orleans, 1984
- Alternative Certification, 6-12 Earth Science, UNO, Anticipated Spring, 2012
- This will be my third year with Jefferson Parish Schools and I am so-o-o excited to be at Patrick Taylor!
I teach Health and Physical Education Teacher. I am the Head Coach for both the Girls Soccer team and the Volleyball team. I am the Head Coach for the Boys Track team. I am also the Boy's First Responder.
- Itinerant Talented Theatre
- Ancillary Certification in Talented Theatre
- Co-founder of 5th Circle Theatre - Boulder, Colorado
- M.F.A in Acting from the University of New Orleans '03
- B.F.A. in Performing Arts from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette '99
Lisa Valence is a retired principal of Westwego Elementary School who has returned to her first love, teaching. A graduate of Boston College, she completed her Masters in Education at the University of New Orleans. She has taught over 29 years in elementary and middle school settings. Mrs. Valence also served her community as Councilwoman for the City of Westwego, 2001-2008. She is currently teaching 6H Math and 7H English. She received The Model Classroom technology grant from JPPSS for the 2011-12 school year and the Gale TEAMS Award for Middle School in 2011.
- M.Ed. Educational Leadership, UNO
- B.A. Secondary Social Studies Education, UNO
- Louisiana Teaching Certificate:
- Educational Leadership
- Secondary Social Studies 6-12