Local Learning is thrilled to announce the 2021 Guest Editor for the Journal of Folklore and Education Special Issue: “Creative Texts | Creative Traditions.” Sandy Hebert LaBry is a veteran educator from Lafayette, Louisiana, who has taught or administered educational programs in English, French and pedagogy at multiple levels in the K-16 continuum. Her study, career opportunities, and personal preferences placed her happily at the crossroads of folklore, writing, heritage languages, and the arts.
When she became a member of the Acadiana Writing Project (an affiliate of the National Writing Project) in 1994, Sandy followed their model of “teachers teaching teachers” to develop expertise in writing instruction. She has facilitated writing workshops for colleagues herself, and as a district administrator, she employed the NWP model system-wide, including professional development with nationally recognized teachers of writing.
Sandy also represented her school district in a partnership with the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program. During her nineteen-year tenure in the network, she and her local partners created professional development opportunities for educators in the arts, including performing, visual, literary and folk arts. As an extension of these efforts, she supported Local Learning projects in regional schools to integrate folk artists and teaching artists in instruction. As part of these projects, she helped the national Local Learning leaders to design summer institutes for educators that included creative writing, interviewing, exploring folkways, and art-making.
Sandy’s own creative compositions mostly take the form of poetry. In these writings Sandy has documented and transformed her own lived traditions, objects of material culture, and interviews with regional cultural stewards into creative texts exploring such themes as identity, community, relationships, and change.