Board Of Directors
Board Meetings: The Citizens’ Committee for Education is the governing board of the Homer A Plessy Community School. It meets on the first Monday of every even month, and meetings are held in the school's library at 721 St. Philip Street, New Orleans, LA 70116. Board meetings are open to the public.
Review the FY 2018 Proposed Budget here.
For upcoming meetings and to review prior documents, access the Board Portal.
Contact the board directly by emailing Alicia Bendana, Board President, email@example.com.
2017-2018 Homer A. Plessy Community School Board of Directors
Alicia Bendana, Of Counsel, Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver, LLP, President
Jose Massingue, Attoney at Law, Vice President
Jon Losey, Director of Insights and Strategy, Camelback Ventures, Secretary
Alex Turvy, Business Operations Manager, KIPP Leadership Primary, Treasurer
Karel Sloane-Boekbinder-Parent, Sarah DeBacher, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Klassi Duncan, Director, Women's Business Resource Center- Urban League, Chandler Nutik- Executive Director, Community Works of Louisiana, Chris O'Neill, University Medical Center New Orleans, Erin Tooher, PhD Candidate/Researcher at University of New Mexico, and Tiffany Smith- Associate Attorney, Leake & Andersson, LLP
Administration and Leadership Team
Meghan Raychaudhuri, Acting Head of School
Ms. Meghan Raychaudhuri graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in public policy and economics. She has a law degree from Tulane University and an LLM in tax from Villanova University. Meghan is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. After several years practicing law, she served as a tax and economic fellow to United States Senator Tom Carper of Delaware and served a limited duration appointment as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Oregon. In 2013, Meghan returned to New Orleans where she worked for the Recovery School District and Firstline Schools. Meghan will also complete her Director of Operations duties alongside her Acting Head of School position.
*Please direct all requests for public records to: Meghan Raychaudhuri, Acting Head of School/Director of Operations, ACT 654
Contact Meghan Raychaudhuri at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Campagna, Director of Student Services
Mr. Adam Campagna has lived in New Orleans since 1999, and began his education career as a science and math teacher at New Orleans Charter Middle School in 2002. Since then he has filled many roles in the educational community, often focusing on student support needs, and most recently focused on Special Education as a Special Education Coordinator. Adam is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, has been trained and certified in various fields, and considers the education of his community his lifelong mission. Outside of school, Adam is a professional musician and plays various instruments in multiple bands, ensembles, and in recording sessions.
Julie Hanks, Director Of Development And Communications
Ms. Julie Hanks is the Development Director for Homer A. Plessy Community School. Working within a school requires that she wears many different ‘hats’ throughout the day. Her primary role is grant writing and fundraising while also managing communications for the organization through public relations, social media, marketing and community outreach. Julie is a graduate of the University of New Orleans. She lives in Lakeview with her husband, daughter and menagerie of pets. When not gardening or reading, Julie loves following baseball, especially the San Francisco Giants.
Contact Julie Hanks at email@example.com
Kenya Hill, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Ms. Kenya Hill is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, at Charlotte, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She received her Master's in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. Kenya taught for 7 years in Charlotte, 4 of which were spent incorporating art and STEM based activities into academic curriculum. She relocated with her family to New Orleans in 2014. During her time in the classroom, Kenya has written curriculum as well as coached and given feedback to teachers. In addition, she was a Fellow in the first cohort of teachers selected to participate in the Personalized Learning Fellowship in partnership with New Schools for New Orleans, with a focus on project based learning. When Kenya's not working to provide a well rounded education for students, she can be found dancing with the NOLA Nyxettes, a Mardi Gras dance troupe. You can catch her high kicking her way down St. Charles Avenue during Carnival season!
Jennifer Flinn, Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator
In case you wondered, Jenny Flinn's favorite centers are blocks and painting! Jenny moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University and fell in love with the city. She has a masters degree in early childhood and childhood education from Bank Street College of Education. During her free time, Jenny loves cooking, sitting on her front porch with her husband Sean and baby boy, James, and running with her dog, Winnie.
Contact Jenny Flinn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Rooney, Arts Integration Coordinator
Mary Rooney is a visual artist, educator, and researcher who is dedicated to exploring connections across educational disciplines through the lens of the arts. She is a recent graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art where she earned her MA in Art Education, as well as her BFA in Painting in 2008. Mary has lived in New Orleans since 2010 and has worked as an arts integrated teaching artist for several years before spending four years as a 2nd and 3rd grade classroom teacher. She joined the Plessy team in 2016 as a 3rd grade teacher and is now thrilled to support artful teaching and learning at Plessy as the Arts Integration Coordinator. Outside of school, Mary spends her time to painting in her home studio, playing with her new puppy, and exploring the vibrant arts culture here in New Orleans.
Kristen Collier, Data Manager
Ms. Kristen Collier grew up in South Carolina and graduated from Presbyterian College. She and her husband have lived in New Orleans since 2003 and have two elementary age boys. Prior to Hurricane Katrina (and shortly after), Kristen worked with Desire Street Ministries. Along with being Plessy's Office Manager, Kristen volunteers with the After-School Program at St. Roch Community Church.
Tiffany Hammond, Front Office Assistant
Information coming soon...
Velma Rankins, Parent Liaison
Velma Rankins was born in California, but raised and educated in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Mc Donogh #35 Senior High School and studied at University of New Orleans (Concentration in Studio Art Painting). Velma is Plessy School's Parent Liaison and is bilingual (English-Spanish). This is Velma's 4th year as a Plessy parent, and in her free time, she enjoys exploring the city for good Latin cuisine and taking pictures of public art. Velma is looking forward to working with the families at Homer Plessy to make their education experience a positive one.
Morgan Fry, Social Worker
Ms. Morgan Fry grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and received her bachelors in social work from Kansas State University. She moved to New Orleans four years ago to complete a service term with AmeriCorps, where she began working in New Orleans schools. Morgan earner her masters in social work from Tulane in 2015 and then began working for the Recovery School District. Morgan is so excited for her first year at Plessy! In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her cat, spending time outdoors and exploring the city.
James Jordan, Return to Intervention Specialist
Information coming soon...
Randall Montgomery, Dean of Student Behavior
Information coming soon...
Lower School Faculty
Amie Benson, Teacher
Ms. Amie Benson graduated, with honors, from West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree in Multi-Disciplinary, and a Masters degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in English. After briefly teaching Pre-K3 in Metairie, she began teaching arts-integrated Kindergarten on the West Bank. Amie is excited to be teaching Kindergarten in the 7th Ward at Homer A. Plessy Community School (it's so close to her home in the Treme!) and is thrilled to put her artistic skills to good use in the classroom in the form of enriching and engaging projects for her students. Outside of the classroom, Amie loves reading, painting, dancing at Second Lines, watching the Saints, and any excuse to create and wear ridiculous costumes!
Debbie Brabham, Teacher
Debbie Brabham started educating children in her senior year of high school in 1993 and has not looked back! She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction and is constantly seeking opportunities for professional development. She is often described as “The Crazy Teacher” and takes pride in it! A belief that children can accomplish anything drives her. She has taught kindergarten for most of those years, along with being a Curriculum Coordinator for Kids R Kids. She’s really excited about continuing her career at Plessy. When she’s not teaching, she loves to visit with her family and simply hang out with her friends. Gizmo is her four-legged, curly-tailed little boy (pug-terrier mix) who makes it his mission to keep Debbie on her toes with his energy and offer the best snuggles during down time.
Lisa Bush, Teacher
Ms. Lisa Bush was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and attended public schools where she graduated from McDonough 35 College Preparatory High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Masters in Education, and is currently pursuing a Post Baccalaureate in Child Development & Family Studies from Southern University at New Orleans. Her talent is sewing and other interests include cooking, gardening, walking, dancing, reading, traveling, counseling/mentoring, and volunteering for causes and events.
Elise Butler Pinkham, Teacher
Elise Butler-Pinkham is thrilled to be teaching at Homer A. Plessy Community School. She has worked as an Early Childhood Educator for the past seven years and is overjoyed and honored to be working with young people and their families during this formative time in their lives. She believes that creativity, kindness, and a love for learning are essential for the lifelong success of young learners. When not in the classroom, Elise loves playing the cello, gardening, going on adventures, and petting her cats- Dandelion and Pip.
Brooke Falgout, Teacher
Brooke Falgout is an artist and a native New Orleanian. She received a B.F.A. in Visual Arts from Loyola University of New Orleans in 2015, and she plans to complete the teachNOLA program to become a certified teacher during summer 2017. Brooke is also a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate - for foster children) in Jefferson Parish. During her free time, she enjoys painting, traveling, cooking, and hanging out with her pups.
Keirshanna gilson, Teaching Assistant
Information coming soon...
Joan Hines, Teaching Assistant
Joan Hines is a native New Orleanian. Joan graduated from Southern University at New Orleans where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Psychology degree, while completing an elementary education program. She is an educator whose always seen the process of educating as a way of giving back to her community and to society. Joan has concentrated heavily in the area of literacy where she worked as reading interventionist and was recognized by the Recovery School District for her implementation of their reading intervention program. Joan's love for books led her to accept the position of school librarian where she was afforded the opportunity to write and receive a sizable grant, from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries, to help replenish the school's library. She also served as BookFair Chairperson for several years. She is always exploring ways of becoming a better classroom teacher. She is still looking forward to publishing the collection of children's stories she has written and reading to her students.
Marchelle Lewis, Teaching Assistant
Ms. Chelle was born and raised in New Orleans and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School. She graduated from Howard University, with honors, with a B.A. in Journalism. She majored in Public Relations and minored in Photography. After graduating from college, a family member asked her to work as a reading and writing interventionist. From then on, her “life plans” changed. She joined the Plessy family as a substitute before becoming a teaching assistant.
In her spare time, she finds time to freelance as a writer and photographer. She loves to spend time reading anything she can get her hands on, writing both fiction and nonfiction, photographing all the wonderful sights and people of New Orleans, and drawing not so well. Her hope is to encourage students to never stop learning.
Heather McIntosh, Teaching Assistant
Ms. Heather McIntosh and her husband moved to New Orleans from Ontario, Canada in 2008. She is a graduate of George Brown College in Toronto. Before joining the Plessy team, Ms. Mc, as she's affectionately called, worked as a 2nd grade teaching assistant and as a special education teaching assisstant on the Westbank. She is excited to be at a school in her 7th Ward neighborhood as part of the Homer A. Plessy Community School family.
Alexa Oliver, Teaching Assistant
Information coming soon...
Melissa Pandiani, Teacher
Ms. Melissa Pandiani was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but for the last 7 years has called New Orleans home. A graduate of the University of Washington, Melissa taught elementary grades in Seattle for eight years and earned a Master's Degree in Elementary Education before moving to Nola. She recently earned a 2nd Masters in Special Education and is currently pursuing another in ELL. Ms. Pandiani has experience touring with a bluegrass/folk band and radio career. In town she is very involved with the swing dance community and plays regularly in a traditional Jazz band. When she's not teaching Melissa spends all her free time creating art, costuming, traveling, making music, and dancing! She firmly believes in the power of music and loves finding new ways to integrate music when teaching core curriculum.
Kyle Radish, Teacher
Kyle Radish graduated from both Benjamin Franklin High School and NOCCA, and consequently believes strongly in excellent public education. She attended the University of New Orleans and earned her B.A. in Sculpture, her Post-Baccalaureate certification in Early Childhood Education, and her Master's degree also in Early Childhood with a concentration in Gifted Education. She has been teaching since 2003.
Tracey Sam, Teacher
Tracey Sam graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She is pursuing a Master's degree in English Language Learning because she is a strong believer in diversity. A proud mother of two young adults, she strives to make school a second home for her students. She believes children learn best when they feel accepted, loved, and supported. As a result, she works very hard to create a community of learners where students learn how to think critically, act respectfully, and use their talents to best of their abilities. Her favorite quote is "You cannot be what you cannot see. Help our children reimagine their possibilities--because of them we can"
Berlyn York, Teaching Assistant
After almost 20 years of moving around the US as a military family, Ms. Berlyn found herself in New Orleans. She immediately fell madly in love with it, and made it her forever home. She is the proud mother of 4 daughters (2 grown and 2 still growing) 2 dogs, and her best friend Marley her pot belly pig. Ms. Berlyn made her mark in Treme where she lives with a successful bakery and custom desert business which allowed her the time to volunteer at her children's schools as room parent and aid. After coming to Plessy with her youngest child, she realized that her real joy was in Kindergarten. So, after 15 years of volunteering- she closed the bakery and made education her career.
Upper School Faculty
Ms. Amy Dickerson grew up in the St. Louis, MO area and graduated from Saint Louis University. She moved to New Orleans to participate in the teachNOLA program, where she became certified to teach elementary school, and has loved it ever since! Her passions are theater, music, and all things DISNEY! Amy has a background in music and the arts and is elated to be at Plessy where she can fully embrace the arts integrated model. She is excited for the school year and to see her students learning in a creative, nurturing environment! “If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney
Lori Jones is a native New Orleanian. She earned a B.A. in Mass Communications from Xavier University New Orleans, and a Post Baccalaureate in Early Childhood Education from Southern University New Orleans. She has over 11 years experience teaching in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Lori is a passionate teacher who believes the best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book, and is thrilled to be a part of the Homer Plessy family.
Nick Larson, Teacher
Teacher information coming soon...
Teacher information coming soon...
Camelia McCandies, Teacher
Although a native of North Carolina, Camelia McCandies has called New Orleans home for the past 5 years. She holds a Bachelors in Sociology, a Masters in Human Service Administration, teaching certifications in both Elementary and Special Education, and is currently pursuing further graduate study in Education Policy, with a specialization in Special Education. Since moving to NOLA, Camelia has taught students K-5 in both general and special education settings. Before teaching, she worked in nonprofit administration in the areas of program evaluation and grant writing, and helped to launch several nonprofits in her home state of North Carolina. She is a strong believer in student ownership of their learning, and is excited to support the students of Plessy in this, in their first year of middle school! When not teaching or learning, you can find her dancing in a Mardi Gras parade or training for her first half-marathon.
Erica Burjek, ESL Teacher
Erica Burjek moved to New Orleans from Chicago to go to Tulane University, where she studied Spanish and International Development and later went on to get her teaching certification in elementary education. This is her 4th year teaching in New Orleans but her 1st year at Plessy, and she loves how creative and insightful the our students are. Outside of school you can find her teaching yoga or tap dancing in Mardi Gras parades!
Lilly Darche, Reading Specialist
Information coming soon...
Amy Hutchinson, SPED Teacher
Amy Hutchinson grew up in Atlanta, GA and moved to New Orleans in the summer of 2016. She graduated from Georgia State University with concentrations in Early Childhood and Special Education. Before moving to New Orleans, she taught Special Education while co-teaching in Montessori classrooms for three years. Amy has also worked as an ABA therapist for children with Autism in the school and clinic settings. She is passionate about supporting students with special needs and helping them reach their full potential. She also worked as a Crisis Counselor through a service called Crisis Text Line, where users text anonymously about a personal situation they are experiencing and seek help overcoming. In her free time, Amy loves exploring New Orleans on her bike, doing yoga, taking her Greyhound on long walks, traveling, and seeing live music.
Rebecca Crenshaw, Arts Department Chair
Ms. Rebecca Crenshaw has been a teaching artist in New Orleans for the past six years. In addition to general music she teaches strings, guitar, and bucket drumming classes while encouraging students to express themselves through music. Rebecca plays violin/viola in several ensembles throughout the city. As a teaching artist, her role as a New Orleans musician informs her teaching and vice versa. Improvisation, collaboration, and performance are focal points in her philosophy of music education.
Michelle "Mizz Sparkle" Perez
"Mizz Sparkle" (as she is called by her students!) is a Visual and Performance Artist who calls the magical, mythical cities of Laredo, TX and New Orleans, LA, home. After graduating from Tulane University with her BA and a Centre for Public Service Fellowship, she worked as a Co-Teacher at Audubon Charter (Montessori) School, a Musical Theatre Instructor at Newman School Summer Camp, as well as Lusher Elementary's Drama Troupe Co-Teacher, Design Adviser, and Choreographer. She is also very proud to have been involved with Junebug Productions (Free Southern Theatre Institution) and Family Fringe Festival. In her spare time, she's a WTUL radio Disc Jockey (alternating an early morning kids show with a late night rock and roll show on the weekends!). She enjoys traveling, crafting, thrifting, exploring science museums and art galleries, attending performances (especially when her students are in them), and going to fabulous festivals! Her passion for community building through Arts Integration and empathy education run deep and she is elated to bring her broad range of experience to her beloved Plessy family!
Brittany Scofield, General Music Teacher
Brittany Scofield graduated from the University of New Orleans with a BA in Music Studies. Her career as a vocalist includes performances with LSU Opera, Tulane Summer Lyric, the New Orleans Fringe Festival, and St. Francis of Assisi church, as well as regular performances as a member of a local Motown band. She believes that every child has the aptitude to be a musician, as long as they are given the tools to succeed. Through healthy singing techniques, physical activities, and instrumental play, students will become confident and knowledgeable in the subject of music. Her educational philosophy encourages students to learn through doing, compose, play, and perform.