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Faculty Honored as USM's Outstanding Child Development Student

Villarreal Honored as The University of Southern Mississippi's Outstanding Child Development Student

The School of Child and Family Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) honors Lynette Villarreal as the Outstanding Child Development Student. Villarreal has 28 years of experience in early childhood education and serves as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School. She also teaches after school and summer visual art classes for elementary students.

College of Education and Human Sciences at USM shared via social media the following information from Villarreal's nominator, “Lynette is phenomenal! She is one of those rare students who seems to want to soak up all the information that is presented to her. Her work in FAM 401 has been impeccable! She writes beautifully, is actively engaged in every chat, and although she doesn’t need the extra credit, she has taken advantage of every opportunity available. She is truly a pleasure to teach and very deserving of this award” (April 13, 2023).

Villarreal is no stranger to professional accolades. In 2014, she was recognized by the Hattiesburg Arts Council with the SmART Teacher Award. Lynette also received WDAM’s Golden Apple Award in 2021.

Sacred Heart parent said, "[I'm] grateful that both of my girls had Ms. Villarreal for pre-k4. When the Pandemic hit, we were devastated to have our year shortened with in-person teaching from her; however, Ms. Villarreal didn’t let virtual learning set limits on the student's academics, individual connections, or love that she had for all [of her students]. She truly has a gift that we have been so fortunate to experience. Much deserved."

Left: PK4 students painting the wall at school (2023). Middle: PK4 student with Villarreal and Catherine Garcia after receiving his Key to Kindergarten (2022). Right: PK4 Student receiving Key from Ms. Villarreal.