EDUCATION TEAM | PROGRAM AUTHORS & CO-AUTHORS
Foundation Co-founder, Education Director
Dara Lemoine-Johnson is a dynamic elementary school educator with 35 years of classroom experience developing and shaping first-grade students. Dara firmly believes curriculum development, creative lesson planning, student engagement, and classroom management are keys to successful learning outcomes.
Dara is co-founder of the Seymore D’Fair Foundation and is the author of ‘Seymore Salutes Kiki’s Red Ribbon School Celebration’ and co-author of Seymore Says, ‘Don’t Be a Bird Brain Avoid Drugs!’ Program.
She has been an active part of the community through positions in parochial, private and public school systems and has taught first grade at Pontchartrain Elementary for the past 25 years.
She has numerous accomplishments and awards during her distinguished career including consistently earning highly effective evaluations for the quality and creativity of classroom teaching, lesson plans and instructional materials used in teaching diverse subjects (e.g., language arts, mathematics, science, social studies), Teacher of the Year PES Elementary, Designated Model Classroom Accelerated Reader Program, nominee for Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science, College of Education and Human Development, Teacher Education Internship, Southeastern University, WYES-TV12-Teaching That Works Award,
Dara has been married for 29 years and has two children. She holds a B.A. in elementary education and a minor in early childhood education from the University of New Orleans.
Board | Co-Author
Rebecca Marler is a Louisiana education system-certified professional teacher with a diversified instructional career.
A veteran teacher with 41 years of experience, Rebecca is retired from Lafayette Parish School System and is currently a teacher and multi-sport coach at Cathedral-Carmel School in Lafayette, Louisiana. She is currently teaching physical education and has been one of the athletic directors for the past six years.
Rebecca is a board member for the Seymore D’Fair Foundation, and her teaching experience includes coaching and teaching physical education, hospital and homebound programs in the Lafayette Public School System. These programs include instructing students who were ill at home or in hospital environments, as well as three adolescent treatment centers in the Lafayette Parish School System. The last 25 years of tenure in the Lafayette School System were dedicated to the Genesis Alternative Program, which included programs for pregnant girls ages 11 years old through high school. This period included Teacher of the Year while instructing at NP Moss Annex.
Her current professional organizations include Louisiana Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (LAHPERD) and Texas Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD). Rebecca was invited to present at the LAPHERD Convention for the Lafayette Woman’s Foundation on information used in the developmental classes for young girls.
Rebecca has been married for 32 years. She obtained a B.S. in health, physical, recreation and safety education with a minor in special education from Northwestern State University.
Board | Co-author
Nanette Simon-Cook is a respected community leader and teacher with 33 years of experience. She is a program co-author and education consultant to the Seymore D’ Fair Foundation.
Nanette has taught at all levels, from elementary school to university, in public and private schools. She currently teaches physical education at Cathedral-Carmel.
In addition to teaching, Nanette works as a fitness, nutrition and wellness instructor at the Lourdes Fitness Center. She previously worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital as a prevention and wellness activity coordinator and afterschool children’s program director in 2004-2005. She worked as a fitness specialist/health educator from 1996 to 2004.
Nanette’s father, Al Simon, served on the Lafayette City Council in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Nanette was inspired by his love for Lafayette and public service. As such, Nanette is currently severing City-Parish Council District 7 and has the distinction of being the first female elected to serve on the Lafayette City-Parish Council.
Nanette has been married for 33 years and has five children. She earned a B.S. in health and physical education from LSU and an M.S. in health and physical education from USL.