The Louisiana Technical and Community College System recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of higher education, and for Nunez Community College educator, Katherine Karcher Lemoine, it was a celebration she would never forget. At this year’s annual LCTCS conference, Lemoine was honored with the inaugural President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, given to one educator statewide who represents the best practices for all of the community and technical colleges in Louisiana. In addition to this prestigious award, Lemoine was also awarded $5000 to honor her outstanding service and commitment to her students and community.
Dr. Monty Sullivan, the President of the LCTCS, said the award recognizes a teaching faculty within the system who represents the excellent teaching found throughout the LCTCS college system. He said Lemoine was selected based on several criteria, including her instructional effectiveness, student focus, discipline competence, and her personal attributes of promoting a positive culture on campus.
Dr. Tina Tinney, the Chancellor of Nunez Community College, referred to Lemoine as a gem and a keystone of both the college and the St. Bernard community at large.
“Katherine stands out among her peers as a key faculty and staff leader and has been instrumental in building both internal and external relationships and partnerships,” Dr. Tinney said. “Katherine Lemoine is adamant about seeking continued, relevant opportunities for her students and is a model of excellence in all that she does for our college, our community, and our system.”
These attributes were evident to her peers as well, being selected by the faculty for the college’s Excellence in Teaching this spring. This selection qualified her for the recent statewide competition with other college winners across Louisiana.
Lemoine said she was surprised at being named one of the five state finalists and elated when Dr. Sullivan announced her as the winner.
“I had no idea that I was even a finalist,” she said. “When my name was called, the tears just started. I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride – not just for me, but as a representative for Nunez. I couldn’t believe it.”
Lemoine said her love for education and service are instilled in her by her parents Kevin and Tara Karcher, and credits them and the support of her husband and extended family as part of her success. She said being recognized in front of her peers and fellow educators made the moment even more special.
“Being honored in front of hundreds of so many committed and caring educators from across the state was humbling and something I will never forget. I am blessed to be surrounded by such caring and compassionate colleagues.”
Lemoine was also quick to credit the administration, her fellow faculty members and staff at Nunez for their ongoing support and guidance. She said she is excited by the college’s future.
“I love sharing my Nunez Pelican Pride and all of the exciting opportunities at our college,” Lemoine said. “Each day, we create opportunities to inform and enlighten our stakeholders about the important work that we do in higher education – especially in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. Every interaction with our community leaders and elected officials is an opportunity to strengthen our army of advocates and recruit new students into our varied programs.”
Lemoine, who is finishing her doctoral coursework at UNO, said the prize money will help defer the cost of that pursuit. She is also looking forward to her work as the new director of development at Nunez.
“As an educator, my obligation extends far beyond the walls of our campus and deep into the community,” Lemoine explained. “ I want to use my community involvement to continue to advocate for higher education while sharing our college goals, mission and success stories.”