Audubon Schools CEO is stepping down at end of the school year

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Audubon Charter School’s Broadway campus, photographed in 2015. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Audubon Schools CEO Latoye A. Brown will be stepping down from her post at the end of the current school year, Audubon announced on Friday.

Audubon is a highly rated public charter school offering French and Montessori programs for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at two established Uptown campuses and a new Gentilly campus. 

The school has been struggling with financial difficulties recently. According to an email sent to Audubon parents in January, Audubon experienced a budget shortfall of $1.8 million dollars in the past year. The shortfall was attributed to a loss in revenue from the state coupled with rising expenses, including the need for expanded special education services.

The following press release was issued just after 5 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 21).

Audubon Schools’ Chief Executive Officer, Latoye A. Brown, who has held the role since 2015, has communicated that, following the conclusion of her contract upon the close of the current school year, she will be pursuing other professional endeavors, Audubon Schools’ French and Montessori Education, Inc. (F.A.M.E), Board of Directors Chair Javier Jalice said.

Ms. Brown, who also serves as President of the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools, leaves behind an incredible legacy of leadership in the New Orleans public school community. She not only worked to continue the stability of excellent, locally run charter schools in New Orleans but also grew and expanded Audubon Charter School from a single school in Uptown New Orleans to include two schools on three campuses with the establishment of Audubon Charter School-Gentilly in the Fall of 2018.

The F.A.M.E Inc. Board will immediately begin planning for and begin conducting a search for a new CEO to assume the role for the 2020-21 School Year. Ms. Brown will continue to serve as Audubon Schools’ CEO through the remainder of the current school year. In the meantime, Ms. Brown will work and assist the F.A.M.E. Board in its search for a replacement.

“We are extremely proud that Audubon Schools offer one of the most in-demand elementary educational opportunities in our city, and we are committed to seeking a CEO who will meet the high bar in leadership and excellence Ms. Brown has set during her time as the leader of Audubon Schools,” said Mr. Jalice. “Ms. Brown has been a powerful leader for our teachers and administrators, and a compelling role model for our students and those she encounters. On behalf of myself and my colleagues on the F.A.M.E. Board, I can truly say Ms. Brown will be greatly missed by all members of the Audubon community.”

Ms. Brown served for seven years with the Audubon school family, serving initially as an Assistant Principal before assuming the Principal/CEO position, and worked to successfully expand the school to a Charter Management Organization (“CMO”), institute a fully open admissions program at Audubon Gentilly, and open an affiliated nationally accredited Montessori training center — The National Montessori Training Center in New Orleans — which is the first in the state of Louisiana.

Additionally, Ms. Brown served as President of the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools for the past four and a half years. GNOCCS Executive Director Ken Ducote said, “Ms. Brown has continued to promote the importance of locally managed and directed, independent charters in promoting educational excellence and she has continued our organization’s commitment in sharing the principles of excellence in charter education with others throughout the greater New Orleans public school community.”

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead such an amazing community of schools,” said Ms. Brown. “The decision to step down is not an easy one, but I am confident it is the right one for me and my family. Our schools continue to see strong growth academically, and it is my belief that they will continue to flourish and excel as they move forward under a new phase of leadership at the CEO level.”

Ms. Brown has been an educator for over 18 years. During this time, after beginning her career as a teacher, Ms. Brown has served as a Math Coach, Master Teacher, and Assistant Principal at various local schools before she assumed her current role as CEO at Audubon Schools.

Prior to starting her professional career as an educator, Ms. Brown graduated from Ben Franklin High School, Xavier University, and the University of New Orleans (“U.N.O.”), where she received an MBA and M.Ed+30. Recently, Ms. Brown was honored at the UNO 25 Honoree Luncheon, which recognizes and celebrates 25 high-impact businesses or organizations that are owned or led by UNO alumni.

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