HL Does NOLA from A to Z: WARREN EASTON CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

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W is for Warren Easton Charter High School. Today and tomorrow, we’re going to concentrate on the education scene in New Orleans, and we’re starting with one of the oldest public high schools in the state of Louisiana. Opened in 1913 at 3019 Canal Street, Warren Easton was initially a boys’ school named for the city and state’s first supervisor of education. (My human mommy’s grandfather graduated from Warren Easton in 1930.) It became co-ed in 1952 and was integrated in 1967. In 1977, Warren Easton became a fundamental magnate school, and it out-performed almost all other schools in the Orleans Parish school system from 2000 to 2005. At the start of the 2005-2006 school year, Hurricane Katrina struck the city and Warren Easton was closed for a year.

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It’s no secret that, while some New Orleans schools like Warren Easton were performing well prior to Hurricane Katrina, the city’s education system was flawed and many students were being under served. Following the storm, the state took over the public schools and charter schools became the norm. Warren Easton Charter High School reopened in 2006 and soon the school was back on top, graduating 100 percent of its senior classes from 2011 to 2014. The Class of 2014 had a special surprise graduation speaker: actress Sandra Bullock, who adopted the school following Hurricane Katrina. As People magazine article reported following that graduation speech, Bullock “has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help rebuild the historic campus, pay for band uniforms and athletic equipment, and has also helped to open a health clinic at the school, as well as funded scholarships for graduating seniors.” Bullock concluded her graduation speech with these words:

And last but not least go find your joy. It’s what you’re going to remember in the end. It’s not the worry, it’s not the what-ifs. It’s the joy that stays with you. And I want to thank you for the joy that Warren Easton brings me every day.

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This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.