Stoulig awarded Lab School Teacher of the Year


University alumni Nicholas Stoulig was named the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year at the Southeastern Laboratory School.

Stoulig, who currently teaches social studies for fifth through eighth grade, holds two degrees from the university, a bachelor’s degree in social studies education and a master’s in school counseling.

Having worked in education for 19 years, Stoulig recalled why he chose to pursue this career path.

“A teacher I had in high school, Steve Grigas, who at Ponchatoula High was my 11th grade social studies teacher for advanced history,” mentioned Stoulig. “I wanted to get up in front of kids and tell stories about history like he does. We never had what we have today, with all the smartboards and interactive notebooks. He made it engaging, and I wanted to do that.”

Prior to teaching at the Lab School, Stoulig taught at schools in New Orleans and Hammond.

Stoulig explained why he eventually chose to pursue counseling in addition to teaching.

“High school is what I want to teach,” said Stoulig. “I wanted to be with older kids, and then after that, I was in New Orleans on the West Bank for five years. While I was there, a colleague of mine suggested that I look into a counselling degree because he saw the way I would meet with kids at lunch even though I didn’t have to.”

Stoulig revealed that he was surprised to learn that his colleagues had chosen him for the award.

“I was definitely humbled and shocked,” shared Stoulig. “I feel that maybe there were other people who worked maybe a lot harder or give a bit more of themselves than I do sometimes. People see you around and you make connections, but it was at the end of my first year. I was kind of blown away that they recognized it in me and had the desire to bestow that upon me.”

Stephen Labbé, Lab School director, shared that Stoulig’s best qualities can be seen both in and out of the classroom.

“It’s not just that the kids score well, but that does go into it a little bit,” said Labbé. “It’s also the relationships he builds with the students, the help he gives to his colleagues, the extra things he’s willing to do, whatever it may be. It’s how he individually helps our entire school.”

Even though Stoulig has only been at the Lab School for a year, Labbé has noted the impact he has already made on the school’s community.

“He came to us last school year, and he made an immediate impact on our campus,” mentioned Labbé. “Academically, he’s made a huge impact for the kids he teaches. All their scores jumped big time. It’s what he’s willing to do for anybody, for any kid on campus. He wants everybody to be successful.”