BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Department of Education today named the 2021 Students of the Year and honored all 21 regional finalists for the prestigious award during a virtual ceremony.
This year’s state winners are Luka George Mikaberidze from Caddo Parish Schools and Zoë Alessandra Dieringer and Raedan Daniel Stephens from St. Tammany Parish Schools.
Dieringer is a two-time district-level Student of the Year and two-time state Student of the Year, and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while pursuing her many passions: dance, theatre, flute, piano, writing, swimming, and volunteering.
She is a member of the student council, Eagle Buddies, band, and talented theatre. Dieringer is a competitive dancer and has participated in the Youth American Grand Prix, Universal Ballet Competition, and American Dance Competition International Ballet Competition. She volunteers with the Northshore Humane Society.
Dieringer plans to attend Harvard University and major in genetics while participating in the Harvard Ballet Company.
Stephens possesses a 4.6 GPA and scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. He has been elected class president for the past three years, served on the student council, founded the Economics Club, and represented his school on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Panel.
Stephens’ extracurricular activities include woodworking, piano, horseback riding, archery, violin, and volunteering with the Northshore Humane Society and his church.
He was selected as a representative on the Louisiana Youth Advisory Council, named National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar with Distinction, attended the Louisiana Literary Rally multiple times, and earned several industry-based certifications.
Stephens interns at a cybersecurity firm and co-owns a sustainably sourced wooden watch company.
He plans to triple-major in neuroscience, computer science, and biomedical engineering with hopes to one-day own a biotech company that will allow him to aid in researching and developing devices that interface with the brain to treat various diseases.
“Congratulations to Luka, Zoe and Raedan for being named Louisiana Students of the Year. I’m proud to have them represent our state,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “These young leaders have excelled at the highest levels among their peers and are an example of the level of education available in Louisiana.”
Parish superintendent Frank Jabbia echoed Brumley’s sentiments.
“Zoë and Raedan are great representatives of all the amazing students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System,” said Jabbia. “Both students are successful not only academically but also excel as leaders in their schools and community. I am so proud of them both and know they will accomplish great things as they continue to represent our school system.”
The 2021 Students of the Year are:
Elementary School (5th Grade)
Luka George Mikaberidze, South Highlands Elementary, Caddo Parish System (Region 1)
Middle School (8th Grade)
Zoë Alessandra Dieringer, Madisonville Junior High, St. Tammany Parish Schools (Region 4)
High School (12th Grade)
Raedan Daniel Stephens, Mandeville High, St. Tammany Parish Schools (Region 4)
The overall winners, one student from the elementary, middle and high school grades, were selected based on criteria that measure academic and career and technical education achievement, leadership skills and character.