Stephanie Jill PortieStephanie Jill Portie
LeBleu Settlement Elementary School
Calcasieu Parish School Board
Lake Charles, Louisiana

Stephanie Jill Portie has led LeBleu Settlement Elementary School to earn high honors for dramatic academic progress in recent years. She became the founding principal of the rural Pre-K-5 school in 2002. Since its opening, the school has raised its state score for student performance by 30 points. The exceptional academic gains have resulted in LeBleu Settlement Elementary’s designation in Louisiana as a three-star school with exemplary status, the highest rating possible. With a current enrollment of 427 children from mostly low-income families, LeBleu Settlement Elementary is a Title I school. Yet successive improvements in student performance have raised its ranking to a position of fifth out of 36 elementary schools in its school system. The school has twice served as a model site visited by members of the business community for the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce’s Education Spotlight program. Behind the success of her school, Portie has created an environment in which teachers collaboratively use data from formative and diagnostic tests to identify student needs and improve instruction. To share school decision making, Portie says that her first action as a principal was to “survey our staff and future parents to seek input about what they wanted to see in our new school.” She received a B.A. and an M.Ed. from McNeese State University in Louisiana and an Ed.D. from Lamar University in Texas.