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 month, and meetings are generally held at the AP Tureaud campus at 2021 Pauger Street. 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, alicia.bendana@plessyschool.org.

 

 

2017-2018 Homer A. Plessy Community School Board of Directors

Alicia Bendana, Of Counsel, LoweStein, President

TBD, Vice President

Jon Losey, Director of Insights and Strategy, Camelback Ventures

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, Chris O'Neil, Charity Hospital, Chandler Nutik- Executive Director, Community Works of Louisiana, and Tiffany Smith- Associate Attorney, Leake & Andersson, LLP

 

 

Administration and Leadership Team

 

Meghan Raychaudhuri, Acting Head of School

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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 meghan@plessyschool.org

 
 

Adam Campagna, Director of Student Services

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Adam 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

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 julie.hanks@plessyschool.org

 

 

Kenya Hill, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Kenya began her teaching career in Charlotte, North Carolina. After working in corporate, she decided that she wanted to transition to teaching. She saw a need for great teachers and wanted to be able to provide an equitable educational experience for students in underserved communities. Kenya is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she received her Bachelors in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She received her Masters in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. Teaching for seven years, Kenya relocated with her family to New Orleans in 2014 to work for KIPP. During her time in the classroom, Kenya has written curriculum as well as coached and given feedback to teachers. In addition, Kenya 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. When Kenya's not working to provide a well rounded education for students, she is dancing with the NOLA Nyxettes, a Mardi Gras Dance Troupe. You can catch her dancing and High Kicking her way down St. Charles during Mardi Gras season!

 

Jennifer Flinn, Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator

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Jenny one of our Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinators. Her 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 jennifer.flinn@plessyschool.org

 

Mary Rooney, Arts Integration Coordinator

Mary Rooney is an artist and educator who believes that the arts are a powerful tool in which to inspire passionate young learners to develop curious minds, lifelong learning habits and essential problem solving skills.  She is currently pursuing a Masters of Art in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 2008 in addition to earning an Associates Degree in Fine Arts at the Delaware College of Art and Design in 2006. Mary began her career as a teaching artist and has taught visual arts in New Orleans, New York City, and Baltimore.  In 2013, Mary became a lead classroom teacher and has taught 2nd grade for the past three years with a special focus on arts integration.  Presently, Mary is in her second year of the Leading Educators Fellowship and is committed to developing projects that will engage students in authentic learning experiences and provide them with opportunities to solve real world issues in their community and beyond.  Outside of school, Mary loves to explore Louisiana's wetlands, go see art, and paint in her studio. 

Her artwork can be found here: http://mary-rooney.squarespace.com 

 

Kristen Collier, Data Manager

 

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

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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 for Homer A. Plessy Community School 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.

 

Valencia Thomas, CIS School Counselor/Site Coordinator

Valencia is a native New Orleanian.  She attended the University of Holy Cross College where she received her Master's Degree in Counseling with a concentration on clinical mental health and school counseling.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor.  Valencia has been employed with Communities in Schools Greater New Orleans since 2013, working with Orleans Parish charter schools.  Valencia enjoys traveling with family, reading and watching television.

 

James Jordan, Return to Intervention Specialist

Information coming soon...

 

Randall Montgomery, Dean of Student Behavior

Information coming soon...

 
 

Lower School Faculty

 

Amie Benson, Teacher

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!

 

 


 

Lisa Bush, Teacher

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

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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

Information coming soon...

 

Heather McIntosh, Teaching Assistant

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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, she 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

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

 

Amy Dickerson

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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

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...

 

Faith Steptore 

Teacher information coming soon...

 

Camelia McCandies, Teacher

Although a native of North Carolina, Camelia 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.

 

 

Wendy O'Connor, Teacher

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Ms. O'Connor is originally from Ocean Springs, Ms.  She grew up in an arts community and studied visual and performing arts.  She graduated from LSU with a B.S in elementary education with a minor in design.  She has been an educator for 17 years in grades 1st through 6th.  Ms. O'Connor recently relocated to New Orleans and has two daughters currently attending college.  She enjoys sharing her knowledge of the arts with students and strongly believes in the arts integrated curriculum.  She also loves to paint, sail, and explore the rich culture of South Louisiana with her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica Burjek, ESL Teacher 

Erica 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

Information coming soon...

 

Arts Department

 

Rebecca Crenshaw, Arts Department Chair 

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

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"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.