Jul 302018

Lycee Francais has hired two new principals, Chana Benenson and Danielle Dufauchard, for its Johnson and Patton campuses. (via lfno.org)

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans will have new principals over each of its two campuses next year as part of a restructuring of the administration following the hiring of its new CEO, school officials said Monday.

CEO Marina Schoen has recently hired new principals for both the Patton Street and Johnson Street campuses, she told the charter school’s governing board at their Monday night meeting.

The new principal overseeing the school’s Patton Street campus, home to children in preschool through second grades, will be Danielle Dufauchard, a former math teacher and Lycee administrator, according to the school website.

Chana Benenson — a foreign-language teacher who led Sci High last year, and was a finalist for the Lycee CEO position alongside Schoen — will be the principal over grades 3 through 8 at the Johnson Street campus.

Both new principals have just started work in their new positions in recent days, and are going through the beginnings of the orientation process now, Schoen said. They will be formally introduced to the Lycee community through the school newsletter on Thursday, she said, and deferred any other questions about them until then.

“We’re very happy to find two people we’re extremely comfortable with,” Schoen said at the meeting.

Schoen previously served as the chief academic officer to former CEO Keith Bartlett. Moving forward, the two principals will report directly to Schoen, and academic director Soazic Pougault will serve both schools, ensuring that the curriculum at the each campus is aligned with the other, as well as to the rigorous standards set by both the state of Louisiana and the French government, Schoen said.

This year the school has grown to more than 950 students, with 100 to 125 students each in grades kindergarten through five. The school’s preschool for 4-year-olds has grown to 80 students this year, with 20 paying tuition and 60 sponsored by the state’s LA-4 program.

This year, the school is making preparations to begin construction on its new campus at Priestley, said board chair David Amoss. The committee charged with securing financing met in July, and is likely to recommend hiring a consultant to help secure the New Market tax credits for the project, which are projected to cover $8 million of the $13 million project.

The board’s facilities committee will meet later in August, and Amoss said the goal of that meeting is to establish a firm start date to construction. The project is expected to last 12 to 14 months from the beginning of construction.

“This year, facilities are our biggest priority, Priestley being a big part of that,” Amoss said. “…At the end of that meeting, hopefully we’ll have a construction start date that we’ll be targeting, and we’ll use that date in all of our conversations with potential investors.”

To read our live coverage of Monday’s meeting, see below:

Live Blog Lycee Francais board meeting – July 30, 2018

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