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NOLA-PS to rename several campuses after prominent figures

NOLA-PS said the plan for renaming the schools, was to make sure the campuses no longer reflected figures with painful past such as slave owners.

NEW ORLEANS — A list of historic figures has been submitted for the possible renaming of some New Orleans Public Schools.

In a press release from NOLA-PS, month of public input hundreds of name considerations, and historical research went into the Orleans Parish School Board unanimous vote and approval.

The list of names was submitted by Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. after taking three months of input through email, mail and virtual meetings,  into consideration.

The list includes 22 names of historic figures such as:

  • Leah L. Chase- New Orleans Chef and owner of Dooky Chase Restaurant. An upscale restaurant that allowed African Americans to gather along with leaders in the Civil Rights Movement to discuss strategy and host meetings for the NAACP.
  • Ellis L. Marsalis- The legendary jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis jazz family. After Hurricane Katrina, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, named in his honor, opened as a part of the Musician’s Village.
  • Katherine Johnson- A Mathematician for NASA, a trailblazer in the quest for racial equality, contributor to our nation's first triumphs in human spaceflight and champion of STEM education. 
Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Katherine Johnson, the inspiration for the film, "Hidden Figures," poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The district said they received more than 250 recommendations.

“I am grateful for all the hard work and collaboration that went into this process by the Renaming Committee, our schools, my staff and especially the public, whose opinions helped us choose excellent building names that best reflect our shared values and lift up our city,” said Dr. Lewis. “We truly turned a page in history for the better today.”

NOLA-PS said the plan for renaming the schools after the public requested the change and in accordance with policy, was to make sure the campuses no longer reflected figures with painful past such as slave owners, confederate officials and segregation supporters.

It is stated in the New Orleans Public School that the school board has the authority to change the outward-facing name on any of its buildings but can not change the program name designated by a Charter Management Organization.

To view the full list of names click here.

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