Amelia Duhon: I always knew I was called to be an educator

In her career, Amelia Duhon, 37, supports both students and teachers. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I enjoy living a life of service and support for not only students, but for teachers as well now.”

She serves as a curriculum resource teacher at Lake Charles Charter Academy, where she provides instructional coaching and curriculum support for teachers who teach third through eighth grade English Language Arts.

In addition, she is an ELA content leader, a member of LCCA’s school leadership team and a member of the Reading Challenge team.

For Duhon, education is the key to living a fulfilling and meaningful life. To ensure that the students and teachers at LCCA are able to learn and teach efficiently, she works to create a space where they feel safe, valued and supported.

These energies are especially important for the students, who learn by example. “I believe that education should foster empathy, respect, compassion and social accountability.”

Contributing to this mission is something she enjoys. “The joy that can be felt when a child finally understands something, or you have a breakthrough with them is a feeling that cannot be put into words,” she said. “To share knowledge, love, compassion and care to children who desperately need it, and then have them return it back to you is the greatest blessing.”

She is a Southwest Louisiana native that attended Our Lady Queen of Heaven and Barbe High School.

During her time in grade school, her educators inspired her. “Everyone can probably remember that one teacher who impacted their lives, and for me, that was my seventh-grade religion teacher,” she recalled. “I can and will always remember the love, compassion and care I felt when I entered her classroom, and I knew that one day I wanted others to feel how I felt when I walked into that classroom every day.”

Her grandmother, who was a teacher, principal and school board employee, also served as a role model.

“I always knew I was called to be an educator, as this is where I started and ended my college degree.”

After graduating from Barbe in 2004, she started her college career at McNeese State University. Over the next few years, she earned credits from both McNeese and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

In 2009, she graduated from McNeese with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Currently, she is attending the University of Louisiana at Monroe to earn her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Reading.

Duhon has now worked in education for 14 years.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she began teaching at Grand Lake Elementary as a reading interventionist. She then moved to John F. Kennedy Elementary, where she taught first grade.

Her time at LCCA began in 2011. She started as a first grade teacher, but soon was moved to teach third grade. She taught at that grade level for eight years.

Through the years, Duhon has learned resilience from her students. They remind her that no matter what is happening in her personal life, the students need her to “show up for them, love them and guide them on the right path.”

“They show me what it means to truly and genuinely love and care for another person and that loyalty is a valued characteristic.”

She is also sometimes challenged while on campus. In those moments, she reminds herself (or is reminded by her peers) why she entered the field in the first place. “This is one of the most underpaid, time consuming, challenging careers that can be chosen, but it is also one of the most rewarding and has been an enormous blessing to my life.”

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