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Meet Our SHEro


 On August 17, 2007, Ms. Valentine was faced with a medical tragedy that has changed her life forever. She survived and lives life now as a quad amputee. Ms. Valentine has embraced this tragedy with an extremely positive attitude. She truly believes that this tragedy has allowed her to serve as an inspiration to all to never give up. She has found strength in knowing that ultimately her tragic story can motivate people to embrace change and live life to the fulles

Merlyna Mathieu Valentine’s heart beats with passion for living a purposeful life. As an educator for the past 30 years she has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of others. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership. She is a member of numerous professional organizations.

     Ms. Valentine has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and Executive Director of Elementary Schools for a high-performing school district. She has been recognized with numerous awards and commendations such as Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year, and Louisiana Regional Principal of the Year. She has been featured in several articles and news stories at the local and national level including an article by the world famous Dr. Harry K. Wong. In honor of her story of survival, courage, and hope, Ms. Valentine was featured in a segment on the Today Show and in an article in Ebony Magazine.

​Live Life "On Purpose"

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