GNO Collaborative Teachers

The Willow School 8th Grade Student Sasha Mardon Named State Finalist for 2024 LDOE Student of the Year

Date: March 8th, 2024

The Willow School 8th Grade Student Sasha Mardon Named State Finalist for 2024 Louisiana Department of Education Student of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – March 7, 2024 – The Willow School 8th grade student Sasha Mardon has been named a finalist for the 2024 Louisiana Students of the Year competition by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), announced The Willow School CEO Nicolette London. Sasha was selected as the Grade 8 finalist for Region 2.

Yesterday, the LDOE revealed its 24 finalists with honorees including one 5th, 8th, and 12th grader from each of the state’s eight BESE regions. Finalists will convene April 10 at the River Center Branch Library in Baton Rouge for an awards ceremony and the announcement of the Louisiana Students of the Year winners from each grade.

Sasha Mardon (photo below) is an 8th grade scholar at The Willow School High School who is passionate about both Arts and STEM.  She has been dancing since she was a toddler and credits dance and theater with building her confidence and her ability to effectively work in teams.  She is an aspiring Engineer who is pursuing both Musical Theatre and Project Lead the Way Engineering programs at Willow.  Sasha enjoys reading and shares that love with younger children when she volunteers as a reading buddy at New Orleans Public Library.  Sasha also loves the Robotics club where she helps to create things that have a positive impact on her community.  She is proud to be a part of a team that created cardboard stovetops with robotic, sizzling eggs to serve as toys that develop coordination for cerebral palsy patients at Ochsner.  She dreams of her future where she can use her Engineering skills to create devices that help children with disabilities accomplish developmental milestones.

“Sasha is an exemplary student, friend and leader and we could not be happier for her to have this much-deserved recognition,” said CEO London. “She exemplifies Willow’s passion for arts and STEM, excelling in engineering, robotics, dance, and theater.  The Willow School students, staff and community are cheering her on and so proud of her many achievements.”

Students are selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and communities. Regional selection committees also use electronic portfolios of accomplishments, along with student writing samples and interviews to assess the communications and critical thinking skills of each candidate.

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