Award Year: 2017

Northwestern State University Middle Lab School

100 Tarlton Drive
Natchitoches, LA, 71497-0001

(318) 357-4509

Mr. Ben H. LaGrone, Principal at time of Nomination

Natchitoches School District

School Website


The mission of Middle Lab School is to provide a learning environment where every student can reach his or her greatest potential.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 14%
  • White: 76%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 3%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Native American: 3%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 29%
NSU Middle Lab School, Be a Demon!

NSU Middle Lab School, Be a Demon!

NSU Middle Lab School is located in the Teacher Education Center on the campus of Northwestern State University. Our school is uniquely charged with the dual role of educating 178 sixth through eighth grade students and providing practical experiences for college students seeking to enter the teaching profession. The school's mission is to ensure educational success for both groups. Staffed with 13 teachers, 1 counselor, 1 secretary, and 1 principal requires all to wear multiple hats to meet the needs of adolescent middle school students and young adults desiring to begin a career as an educator. Yearly, this dynamic defines our challenge. Our solution has been to create a school culture that emphasizes a strong sense of caring, community, and collaboration. "NSU Middle Lab School was an extremely pleasant place to visit." These were the words used by AdvancED in a recent school accreditation visit. The NSU Middle Lab School vision is to have enthusiastic teachers working with happy students to yield an educational environment saturated with positive learning experiences.

Students can count on an advisory program designed to provide long term interactions between teacher and student with focus on personal responsibility taking, positive behavior, and career goal development. In the classroom students enjoy meaningful learning experiences through lessons designed to actively engage students in challenging work. High quality student-student and student-teacher talk is fostered through purposeful cooperative learning structures as students advance through a rigorous, standards-based curriculum.

Beyond the core curriculum, students can join our nationally acclaimed orchestra or pursue high school credit through an advanced art curriculum. Co-curricular and extra-curricular sports, student government, honor society, multiple clubs, and frequent community service projects are all opportunities for students who seek to "Be A Demon" at NSU Middle Lab School.