Home Local News La Follette senior Tatiana Menefee honored with Mrs. Lois Bell Future Educator...

La Follette senior Tatiana Menefee honored with Mrs. Lois Bell Future Educator Award by incoming MMSD superintendent

(L-r) Former teacher Lois Bell, La Follette senior Tatiana Menefee, and MMSD Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard (Photo: MMSD)

La Follette Senior Tatiana Menefee was recently honored with the “Mrs. Lois Bell Future Educator Award” and received $5,000, which was made possible by incoming MMSD Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard.

When Dr. Gothard was recognized as the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) back in February, part of that honor was a $10,000 college scholarship presented in Gothard’s name.

“As great as it was to receive the award [from the AASA], the most significant part for me was being able to share it with students as part of a scholarship program,” Gothard said in a statement. He chose to split the award between a student in his former district, St. Paul Public Schools, and Menefee, a student from his alma mater.

Menefee aspires to pursue a career in education and hopes to become an African American history teacher.

“The scholarship is important to me because Dr. Gothard is giving back to his community and honoring someone who inspired him,” Menefee said in a statement. “It’s especially meaningful because I want to become an educator due to the people who inspire me here every day.”

The scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Gothard’s former teacher, Lois Bell, who played a pivotal role in his educational career. “Mrs. Bell was my first and only African American teacher,” Gothard said. “She had a valuable impact on my life as an educator, and she continues to mentor and guide me. I am honored to uplift students in recognition of the teacher who truly inspired me to be who I am today.”