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 2016 Proposed Budget here.
April Board meeting, 4/10/17, will be held at 5pm in the school's library. For upcoming meetings and to review prior documents, access the Board Portal.
Contact the board directly by emailing Ben McLeish, Board President, at email@example.com.
2016-2017 Homer A. Plessy Community School Board of Directors
Ben McLeish, Founder, St. Roch CDC, President
Alicia Bendana, Of Counsel, LoweStein, Vice President
Jose Massingue, Attorney at Law, Secretary
Whitney Brown, Financial Accountant, Canal Barge, Treasurer
Karel Sloane-Boekbinder-Parent, Robert Fulton-Consultant, Jon Losey- Director of Insights and Strategy, Camelback Ventures, Chandler Nutik- Executive Director, Community Works of Louisiana, Kristen Palmer- Former New Orleans City Councilmember, Jason Richards- Senior Associate, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, Tiffany Smith- Associate Attorney, Leake & Andersson, LLP, and Alex Turvy- Business Operations Manager, KIPP Leadership Primary
Joan reilly, Head Of School
Joan Reilly graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican College with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and multiple certifications in Special Education. She received her Masters Degree from the University of New Orleans five years later in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Early Childhood. She worked as a hospital homebound teacher her first year, then moved on to Lafayette Elementary where she taught first grade and kindergarten. In 1987, she found her “home” at Edward Hynes Elementary School where she taught first grade for the next “million” years. In 2003, she became one of two Literacy Facilitators when the district adopted a new reading program. She remained in that position until Hurricane Katrina left the city of New Orleans and her school under 8 or more feet of water. During the 2005-2006 school year, she taught kindergarten at Benjamin Franklin Elementary and helped to re-open Hynes as a type 3 Charter School. In 2006, she became the Literacy Facilitator/Ranking Teacher/Yearbook Coordinator and more, and helped Hynes become one of the first 30 High Performing/High Poverty schools in the state.
In November, 2013, Joan found a new "home” when she became the Head of School at Homer A. Plessy Community School. Together, she and her team of talented teachers and staff are creating an engaging environment where student, parent, and community voice and choice are heard and where students are taught to take the test of life rather than just the test of the day. Joan plays several instruments including the organ, guitar, occasional garden hose, PVC fife, and water glasses. She and her husband, Kevin, have a daughter (Meghan, 21), a son (Nicholas, 18), 4 dogs, and a spare.
Contact Joan Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meghan Raychaudhuri, Director of Operations
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 Univeristy. 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.
*Please direct all requests for public records to: Meghan Raychaudhuri, Director of Operations, ACT 654
Contact Meghan Raychaudhuri at email@example.com
Julie Hanks, Director Of Development
Julie 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen Collier, Office 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.
TBD, Front Office Assistant
Info coming soon...
Charity Davis, Behavior Interventionist
Charity graduated from Southern University at New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has four years of experience working in New Orleans schools mentoring and volunteering her time in efforts to push student success emotionally and academically. One of her favorite quotes is: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts”-Winston Churchill.
Contact Charity Davis at email@example.com
Charles "Chachi" Lewis, Student Support Specialist
Chachi is a California native, but has been living in New Orleans for the last 8 years. He was a founding member for a Positive Discipline/Project Based charter school in Los Angeles, Our Community School, and is very excited to find a similar school environment here in the adopted city he loves. While his background is primarily in Special Education, he has worn many hats in his 13 years as an educator ranging from Playworks Coach to Special Ed Compliance Director. He believes in conflict-resolution and the power of a diverse community to make real change. When not at work you can find him playing Dungeons & Dragons, performing improv, and riding his bike.
James Jordan, Return to Intervention Specialist
Teacher information coming soon...
Camelia McCandies, Special Education Coordinator
Teacher information coming soon...
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.
Jennifer Flinn, Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Elise Butler-Pinkham, Pre-K Grade 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.
Monetiaka Brown, Pre-K Teacher
Monetiaka Brown is a first year teacher from New Orleans! She's super excited to call Plessy School her new home. Monetiaka is full of cheer, smiles, and tons of love. She spends her free time bike riding and enjoying the arts. Monetiaka has a Bachelors of Art from Xavier University, as well as an extended background of kid friendly experience! Her goal at Plessy School is to instill empathy, teach fairness, and motivate students in ascertaining their inner strengths.
Lisa Bush, Pre-K Teaching Assistant
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.
Keirshanna gilson, Pre-K Teaching Assistant
Teacher information coming soon...
Amie Benson, Kindergarten 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!
Brittaney Wright, Kindergarten Teacher
Ms. Wright was born and raised in the Fayetteville, Arkansas. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Arkansas in 2009. After living both on the east coast for several years and in Austin, TX., Ms. Wright moved to New Orleans in the summer of 2011, to begin her career in education.
After moving to the Crescent City, Ms. Wright has worked as a volunteer teacher with the Edible Schoolyard after-school program, and also as a Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher in New Orleans.This is her fifth year in education and her second year teaching Kindergarten at Plessy.
Ms. Wright will soon graduate from the Master’s in Teaching program, in the areas of Elementary and Special Education, at Xavier University of New Orleans with a Reading Specialist concentration. When she’s not at school, Ms. Wright enjoys traveling, going to comedy shows, practicing yoga, biking, cooking and hanging out with her cats, Tomas and Ace.
Berlyn York, Kindergarten 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.
Marchelle Lewis, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
Teacher information coming soon...
Amy Dickerson, 1st Grade Teacher
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
Melissa Pandiani, 1st Grade Teacher
Teacher bio coming soon...
Heather McIntosh, 1st Grade Teaching Assistant
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, 1st Grade Teaching Assistant
Teacher information coming soon...
Wendy DeMers, Curriculum Coordinator- 2nd-5th grades
Wendy DeMers was born in South Carolina, but has been a New Orleanian for 55 years and grew up in its public schools. She taught early childhood grades for 20 years and middle school science for the next 20 years. She is Nationally Board Certified as a Middle Childhood Generalist and was a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Math and Science teaching. Wendy has a son, Chris, and two grandchildren, Rian and Chloe. In her free time, she is a volunteer diver at the Audubon Nature Institute's Aquarium of the Americas.
Wendy O'Connor, 2nd Grade Teacher
Teacher information coming soon...
Tracey Sam, 2nd Grade 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"
Brooke Falgout, 2nd Grade Teaching Assistant
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.
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.
Mary Rooney, 3rd Grade Teacher
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
Lori Jones, 3rd Grade Teacher
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.
Faith Steptore, 4th Grade Teacher
Bio Coming Soon!
Kyle Radish, 5th Grade 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 for her B.A. in Sculpture, her Post-Baccalaureate certification in Early Childhood Education, and her Master's degree in Early Childhood with a concentration in Gifted Education. She has been teaching since 2003. Kyle loves immersing herself in long novels and following new scientific discoveries.
Andrew Weatherbie, 5th Grade Teaching Assistant/Community Engagement
Andrew Wetherbie is Colorado born-and-bred and currently attends Tulane University as part of the Accelerated Physician Training program. He is majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology and will attend Tulane School of Medicine as part of the class of 2021. He completed his Eagle Scout in 2014 and cites it as a major factor in his decision to complete a year of service with Plessy School. Andrew's past "teaching" experience includes coaching a local swim team in Colorado called the Smoky Hill Sharks for 5 years as both a team captain and assistant coach, while also helping out at a soccer day camp for children with developmental disabilities. In his spare time he enjoys reading, Olympic weightlifting, and watching soccer. Glory Glory Man United (Manchester United Football Club)!
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!
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.
Dixie Moore, Visual Arts Teacher
Dixie Moore has been a teaching artist in the New Orleans public school system for over twenty years. She has extensive experience working with students with multiple exceptionalities from Gifted Academics to Talented in the Arts to developmental delays. She is currently an Art Psychotherapist providing services ranging from trauma-informed mental healthcare, Talented in Visual Arts evaluator and instructor, and behavior intervention through art therapy. She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Therapy. Her philosophy of education is that the creative process is more important than the product. Play and making art are vital components in a child's cognitive and social development. Dixie feels that the arts in education build achievement and creates an environment where children can naturally discover their true passions and unique talents.
Michelle Perez, Theatre Arts Teacher
"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.
Tiffany Hammond, Parent Liaison
Bio Coming Soon!