Two football coaches at Lusher Charter School suffered serious injuries in a hit-and-run accident on Mardi Gras (Feb. 16) night, the school’s CEO and athletic director told the Lusher community in an email on Saturday. One coach lost both legs as a result of the hit-and run. The email from CEO Kathy Riedlinger and Athletic Director Louis Landrum sent Feb. 20 stated the accident caused “serious injury to Coach Pierre Warren and life-threatening injury to Coach Adam Sivia.”
As protesters nationwide storm the symbols of the Confederacy and institutional racism, a movement to rename the revered Lusher Charter School has received a renewed boost. This time, however, the administration has said it will consider the idea of removing the name of staunch segregationist Robert Mills Lusher. A petition on Change.org garnered more than 2,600 signatures by Wednesday evening. Commentary on the petition describes the racist legacy of the school’s namesake, who advocated using public education to promote white supremacy while serving as the state’s superintendent of education after the Civil War. The petition does not suggest an alternative name for Lusher, a K-12 charter that consistently ranks among the city’s highest performing, other than opting for one that “honors the diverse experiences, hopes and dreams of the children who they purport to care for and educate every day.”
Four Lusher Charter School seniors have been named Posse Scholars, an honor that provides them with full-tuition college scholarships. Two of the students, Esperanza Milla and Allan Buezo, plan to stay in New Orleans and attend Tulane University. India Miller is heading to Villanova University in Pennsylvania, and Kayla Red will attend Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. The four Posse Scholars were chosen for their leadership potential. The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains individuals to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Theater students from a local high school had the opportunity to hear from two actors from “Les Miserables,” a Tony award-winning musical playing at the Saenger Theatre until Jan. 13. On Wednesday, Paige Smallwood and Stavros Koumbaros, actors from “Les Miserables,” spoke with 35 theater students at Lusher Charter School on Freret Street. During the event arranged by Broadway in New Orleans and the Orleans Parish School Board, the actors answered questions from A.J. Allegra, director of the musical theater division at Lusher, and directly from the students themselves. Smallwood and Koumbaros are recent college graduates.
Parents planning to send their children to the second incoming class of students at Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans may have to wait until January to apply, after state officials insisted the school reject all applications for the next three months. School officials recently met with the Louisiana Department of Education and were instructed that they could not begin taking applications for the 2012-2013 school year until Jan. 1., said board president Andrew Abrams at a Monday night meeting of the school’s governing board. Many other New Orleans charter schools began their application process together on Monday to streamline the process for parents, but Abrams said the state officials told Lycée Français that the Jan. 1 policy is statewide.