Benoit Motors Teacher of the Week: Bridget Luntsford provides her students with ‘energized education’

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 13, 2023

By Emily Burleigh

Lifelong Welsh resident Bridget Luntsford, 45, has created a healthy learning environment for her students by establishing three classroom rules: “Be positive! Be respectful! Be productive!”

With this set of guidelines, Luntsford and her students are able to open productive lines of communication, which leads to a well-rounded and effective education, she said.

“Having this type of learning environment allows my students to feel safe, allows me to understand their needs and promotes positivity.”

The students aren’t the only ones learning in the classroom.

“As an educator, I challenge myself continuously, even in areas in which I’m already familiar. I love all of the lessons my students have taught me through the many conversations we’ve had in class.”

As a student, her experience was positive. She said she had “many inspirational teachers” who guided her through school.

One such teacher was social studies instructor Mary Lee Coles, an educator who “made learning come alive.”

After graduating from Welsh High School, Luntsford attended McNeese State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. She is certified to teach Pre-K through eighth grade.

She has taught at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic School for 22 years. At one point in her career, Luntsford taught regions of the United States. She saw this as a perfect moment to model her teaching style after Coles to give her students the same energized education she received.

She would host themed parties to tie in the lesions about the regions.

“When we visited the Southwest Region of the United States, we had a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Students brought in Mexican dishes, painted maracas and more.”

Her effort to emulate Coles has made a tangible impression on her students.

“My greatest joy is visiting with former students that remember projects and activities from third and fourth grade.”

Luntsford now teaches third and fourth grade English Language Arts and religion. She loves teaching ELA because it provides students with an outlet for expression.

“I love it when my students explore their creativity through writing, speaking, and reading assignments.”

She is grateful for the opportunity to teach religion. The subject matter allows her students to delve into subjects that stretch beyond the curriculum.

“It is truly a blessing to be able to pray daily with my students and teach them about our Catholic faith. At OLI, I’m able to educate the whole child. I’m allowed to go beyond the academic requirements to guide my students in their intellectual and spiritual formation.”

She is also the elementary 4-H leader of OLI.

For Luntsford, being an educator is a great responsibility and a great honor. The education that she provides OLI students shapes their future, and that is a task that she does not take lightly.

“I enjoy enlightening their minds and helping to prepare them for the future. … I hope that my students can use the knowledge that I taught them to become prosperous adults in the future.

Her advice to educators is to “stay positive and always be willing to challenge the minds of their students.”