Louisiana is an incredibly unique context. For more than a decade, it has been at the epicenter of both tremendous innovation and significant disruption in U.S. education.
One-size-fits all solutions are not likely to get your school system where you want to be, so we offer customized capacity-building strategies to build on the strengths of your teaching team and school community with equity at the center.
Where it all Started
Louisiana is at the heart of the Leading Educators story
Leading Educators started from a belief in the potential for leadership to change students’ lives. Schools were–and still are–looking for solutions to disrupt opportunity gaps that put students of color at a disadvantage.
New Orleans was facing an overhaul of the education system that magnified challenges to ensuring consistent, quality learning for all students in a highly decentralized school landscape. So, we launched a Louisiana pilot program in 2008 to develop teacher leadership and equip experienced teachers to support their peers’ growth amid rapid change.
Our Work Today
Since then, our model has evolved to provide customized, instructional improvement support and custom professional learning design to a network of single- and multi-site charter management organizations (CMOs). Leading Educators is uniquely prepared to support state-wide efforts to implement Tier 1 curricula and aligned collaborative planning time. Using an inquiry-based model, LE supports instructional leaders to plan and facilitate weekly or biweekly collaborative planning in schools to expand opportunity for students.See an Example
Meet the Team
Senior Director of Networks
Math Instructional Leadership Coach
Louisiana Program Manager
About Sara Neal
Sara is an alumnus of the inaugural Leading Educators class of fellows in New Orleans and brings 20 years of experience working in education. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.Ed from Teacher's College at Columbia University.
Sara Neal in the news
About George Werres
Formerly a 2012 Leading Educators Fellow in New Orleans, George has been an educator for 14 years. He worked his way from classroom teacher, to team leader, to Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Harriet Tubman Charter School in New Orleans, and most recently was a Director of Teacher Leadership Development at Teach for America. He is excited to continue to push for equity in education at Leading Educators.
George is originally from Greenwood, IN, and he has called New Orleans home since 2010. He graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education. In his free time, he enjoys playing strategy games, kayaking on Bayou St. John, and playing kickball with the Stonewall Sports League.
About Lenna Assaf
Previously, Lenna served as Program Manager for YouthForce NOLA where she led the operations and logistics for an internship program for rising high school seniors focused on career-readiness. Before that, she served as the Dean of Enrichment at Akili Academy of New Orleans where she led the vision and daily execution of the school’s enrichment classes.
Lenna holds a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles, with minors in Education and LGBT Studies. She lives in New Orleans, LA and spends her free time being creative in the kitchen, crafting costumes for Mardi Gras, and sharing New Orleans culture with all of her friends and family who regularly visit.
About Kelsey McLachlan
Kelsey’s career in education began as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools. After moving back to New Orleans, Kelsey worked for Teach for America coaching grade 3-8 teachers in all subjects. In 2011, Kelsey became the Founding Assistant Principal at KIPP Leadership Primary and remained there until the school was fully founded.
Kelsey holds an M.S. in Education from Northwestern University, a B.A. in Theater from Tulane University, and a High School Drama degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Born in North Carolina, Kelsey now calls the charming city of New Orleans home and gets to enjoy the wonders of it with her husband and two amazing kids.
How Can We Support You?
Leading Educators supports the Louisiana Department of Education Tier 1 curriculum initiative and offers partnerships aligned to the Strong Start Professional Development Categories-Virtual Offerings.
Get in touch with us to learn how we can support your schools’ goals.