After more than 40 years as an educator, Cathi Cox-Boniolretired from the Lincoln Parish School System. During her career, she served asa secondary educator before moving into the Program Coordinator position forCATALyST, Louisiana Tech University’s Center for Applied Teaching and Learningto Yield Scientific Thinking. Cathi returned to the Lincoln Parish District ascoordinator for the new ACHIEVE program and forged community-based partnershipsto enhance public education effort while initiating the Lincoln Parish STEMprograms in partnership with Louisiana Tech. Cathi also assumed the role ofDirector for the New Tech @ Ruston academy where she guided the program to a“Best in Education” award by the Coordinating and Development Corporation aswell as National Demonstration Site and Exemplary Model School status.
Following her retirement, she returned toLouisiana Tech where she currently serves as Director for the SCILS Region 8LaSTEM Center, working to create a robust STEM ecosystem across the I-20 corridor.In addition, she is a STEM education consultant with “Side by Side Strategies”as well as an independent writer and author serving as Community News Editorfor the Ruston Daily Leader.
Cathi serves on the EditorialReview Board for the International Technology and Engineering Educators Associationpublications that include Technology andEngineering Teacher and the ElementarySTEM Journal. She was named by the National Science Foundation as part ofthe National Selection Committee for both the Presidential Awards forExcellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) as well as the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics,and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). An Essential Elements Trainer for theChemical Educational Foundation, she also serves as a national judge for the“You Be the Chemist” challenge.
Named as Chair for the Louisiana ScienceStandards Review to establish the first new standards in more than 20 years,Cathi helmed the work of more than 100 statewide educators and stakeholders anddirected Committee and Workgroup sessions in developing multi-dimensionalstandards addressing the critical components of science and engineeringpractices. In addition, she was named by former Louisiana Superintendent ofEducation John White to serve on the state’s Louisiana Believes AdvisoryCommittee while co-chairing the state Communications Working Group.
Cathi’s work has been highlighted in eightdifferent publications and she co-authored three engineering education booksfor Bonamy Publishing. Tapped by former Louisiana Governor Mike Foster to serveon his state Workforce Commission, she also served on the Louisiana School toWork Council and additional education committees within the workforce effort formore than a decade. In addition, Cathi is a state facilitator and trainer forthe national OpenSciEd curriculum.
Honored for her professional accomplishments atthe local, state, and national level, including the Presidential Award forExcellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Radioshack/TandyTechnology Scholars Outstanding Teacher Award, Cathi earned the distinction of “Louisianianof the Year” for her activism and advocacy around STEM education. She has beenrecognized with the National Science Education Leadership AssociationOutstanding Leadership in Science Education Award as well as the Claudia FowlerDistinguished Service to Science Education Award. The recipient of the ITEEAPublic Understanding of Technology & Engineering Education Award as well asthe 2023 Professional PracticeAward for Region 2 by Epsilon Pi Tau. Named as Louisiana Tech UniversityAlumna of the Year, Cathi was also the recipient of the historic Lincoln ParishRobert E. Russ Award.
Cathi was Listed among Delta Style Magazine’s “Sweet Sixteen” Most Influential Women andalso earned the national Kappa Delta Sorority Order of the Pearl Award for herprominence in professional and civic service at the national, state, and locallevel. A lifelong resident of Ruston,Louisiana, Cathi is married to Tom Boniol and when not traveling together, theyare busy community advocates actively serving in Temple Baptist Church as wellas the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Tech University AlumniAssociation, North Central Louisiana Arts Council, United Way of NortheastLouisiana, Kappa Delta Chapter Advisory Board, The Wellspring, Teach One toLead One, VFW, American Legion and other service initiatives.
Having volunteered with both the Susan G. Komenand Wiggin’Out organizations, I have seen the widespread effects of breastcancer along the I-20 Corridor and particularly within the Louisiana Delta. AsDirector of the SCILS Region 8 LaSTEM Center, we are challenged with reachingcitizens of all ages across our region through programs that serve to informand educate them with regard to important topics related to employability andquality of life. Certainly, addressing the disturbing trends around breastcancer and mortality within our region is an important step in helping citizensbetter understand their health and how it impacts their ability to lead a fulland productive life. Therefore, it would be our desire to partner with schoolsand community organizations within the parishes we serve in order to helpbetter educate the “k to gray” age spectrum so that they are better empoweredand equipped to address their health as well as health-related issues,particularly breast cancer, in order to become more proactive agents for changein whatever capacity they may serve.