In January 1992, David Tapp inadvertently found his calling in education.

"To be honest, I didn't see myself as an educator, but I ended getting the feel of it, and here I am 25 years later," Tapp said.

Known for his friendly and happy nature, Tapp credits his 25 years of tutoring to being relatable, yet respectable.

"I've been told that it's my smile and my personality that really helps students grasp the subjects," he said.

He has turned that smile into a tool to help him along his career in education. In April he was the recipient of Central Primary School's first employee of the month award - the Horace Mann Insurance award.

A Donaldsonville native and 1986 graduate of DHS, he is a title one paraprofessional who has worked for Ascension Parish Schools for 18 years. It was his tutoring career that showed him that path.

"The students inspired me," Tapp said. "Those kids did something for me - they made me feel needed."

One of the most inspiring stories of his career is that of Donaldsonville native, 32-year-old Jon Leblanc, who said he would have quit school if it wasn't for Tapp.

Leblanc studied under Tapp from primary school through high school.

"When we first started, school didn't matter to me," Leblanc said. "As he worked with me through the years, it became easier. He was dedicated, very patient - he took his time and made sure you understood what you had to do."

Leblanc said Tapp even went as far as to keep in contact with his teachers.

"If he wouldn't have been there - I wouldn't have finished school - I would have dropped out.

I want to thank him for sticking with me and making sure I got through school."

Tapp, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in social work from Nicholls State University said he has never advertised his tutoring program, but has kept students enrolled since 1992.