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SMP Teachers Complete Reach University, Earn Degrees

St. Mary Parish Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Buffy Fegenbush is happy to announce that two St. Mary long-term substitute teachers have successfully completed all requirements to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and were recognized during the graduation ceremonies of Reach University on the evening of May 23, 2023. Congratulations to Crystal Knope and Theresa Rodriquez, St. Mary’s first two candidates to complete Reach University’s undergraduate degree program. 


Oxford Teachers College is an initiative of Reach University designed to help school districts to “grow their own” teachers by offering a degree plan based on job-embedded teaching experiences. Dr. Fegenbush wants to encourage all St. Mary Parish’s paraprofessionals and support staff who have the hopes of being a teacher in their own classrooms one day to seize this opportunity.

Crystal Knope is currently a long-term substitute teacher at Wyandotte Elementary School. She has been employed in St. Mary for seven years, serving six years as a paraprofessional. When the opportunity presented itself for her to enroll in this undergraduate program, she began the journey to becoming a degreed and certified

Theresa Rodriquez previously served St. Mary students as a paraprofessional for 15 years. This is her sixteenth year in St. Mary, currently serving as a long-term substitute teacher at Maitland Elementary. The Reach University initiative made it possible for her to continue to work in her current position while earning her degree.