Walking the halls of the Broadmoor campus, Sommer Anderson-Picou steps into a corner classroom tucked away in newest wing of what was Broadmoor Middle.
Entering the room, she is greeted by a flood of memories – memories of the classes she led during her six years as a pre-algebra and Algebra I teacher. While the furniture, paint and other aspects have changed since she left Broadmoor to pursue a career in school administration, she paused as she noticed artwork she had hung in the classroom to bring her students’ joy still in the same place she had left it all those years ago.
“I can’t believe after all these years they kept it,” Anderson Picou said. “It’s like a piece of me never left.”
This week Anderson-Picou’s career came full circle as Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools, appointed her to lead the new Broadmoor STEM Academy. Opening this fall, the Academy will be the first STEM center in the district and serve prekindergarten through eighth grade students from Arthur Circle and Broadmoor Middle at the Broadmoor Middle campus.
Anderson-Picou’s extensive experience has prepared her for this moment. A native of South Louisiana, she began her career in education in 2000 as a high school algebra and geometry teacher at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge before pursuing opportunities to teach middle and high school math to special education populations in Laplace and Denham Springs.
In 2007, Anderson-Picou sought new challenges and experiences and began teaching eighth graders at Broadmoor Middle. In her time on the campus, her students won a grant through NASA which provided students the chance to train with NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center in Houston on the effects of reduced gravity. Additionally, she became the school’s mathematics chair before feeling the pull to go into school administration.
“I loved my students and I always will, but I wanted to find a way to make an impact on the lives of more children and that led me into school administration,” Anderson Picou said.
With administrative experience at Werner Park Elementary and Summer Grove Elementary under her belt, she moved from campus-based leadership to serving as Caddo’s elementary math curriculum specialist. During her tenure, Anderson-Picou worked within the Academic Affairs division to re-envision how math instruction could be delivered in the district and oversaw the implementation of curriculum and aligned professional development.
While she loved the work and difference made for students, she missed supporting teachers and students at the school level. In 2019, Anderson-Picou accepted a position as the Principal of Arthur Circle Elementary. She quickly set out to build a family within her staff, students and the community where she and her own children live.
Moving to Broadmoor STEM Academy, she said that same motivation fuels her to build community partnerships to support student success while rebuilding the very Broadmoor school that made her fall in love with Caddo Parish all those years ago.
“At Arthur Circle our motto was that we were goal driven in every aspect of our work,” Anderson Picou said. “Whether it was increasing student performance, hiring engaging certified staff or increasing our awareness within the community, everything centered on having a goal and working toward that goal. That focus only increases as we move to Broadmoor STEM Academy. There are incredible opportunities for students to discover what STEM means to them while providing top-rated curriculum and instruction.”
Broadmoor STEM Academy will open with partnerships in place such as the Cyber Innovation Center, Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech University. Instructors from these renowned organizations will work hand-in-hand with teachers at Broadmoor to support professional development for teachers and engaging lessons for students.
“Our students and families are what make our schools unique and I cannot wait to show our parents and students what we are creating for them and what it will mean for our community,” Anderson Picou said. “We are laying a strong foundation to change outcomes for students and prepare them for careers which do not exist today. The next chapter of Broadmoor begins now.”