N.O. high school that ‘ain’t dere no more’ lives on
Looking out from a second-floor window of her New Orleans high school, the teenaged Musette Barrouquere could see into the backyard of the neighboring convent, its clothesline laden with the distinctive habits of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Starched and brilliantly white, each habit measured about three times the width of its wearer’s head, and was folded in a way that produced flanking, upside-down triangles.
The impressive headgear piqued the curiosity of Barrouquere and her friends.
‘Discovery Walks’ seek to improve student learning
A school-improvement tool with an impressive track record of raising student achievement will be introduced to all interested Catholic school principals this month.
The tool – known as “Discovery Walks” or “e-Walks” – involves quarterly visits to each classroom by a team of educators, led by the principal. Equipped with iPads, members of the walking team quietly observe the conditions and teaching strategies in use in each classroom, enter their observations onto an electronic checklist, and generate a series of “snapshots” – in the form of pie graphs – depicting the school’s overall operations. The graphs instantly enable administrators and teachers to identify what they are doing well as a school, and which elements of classroom logistics need their attention.
Deacon Richard "Buzzy" Gaiennie, the powerhouse behind Bridge House, passes away
Deacon Richard "Buzzy" Gaiennie, chief executive of the substance abuse programs at Bridge House and himself a recovering alcoholic, died Aug. 13 after an illness.
Deacon Gaiennie was ordained in 1987 by Archbishop Philip Hannan and served in the ministry at St. Stephen Church and then Our Lady of the Rosary Church. He has been the executive director of Bridge House since 1984.
He is survived by his wife Barbara Brown, his son Bill Gaiennie, and daughters Michele Gaiennie and Dana G. Arnold.
Funeral services are as follows: Thursday, Aug. 18, visitation 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Mass of Christian Burial 1:30 p.m., St. Stephen Church (Good Shepherd Parish), 1025 Napoleon Ave.
(Here is a Clarion Herald column by Peter Finney Jr. from May 10, 2010, that speaks of the life-changing work in which Deacon Gaiennie was engaged.)
If ever a building’s purpose is manifested by its architecture, the new four-story Bridge House at 4150 Earhart Blvd. – a place of healing and recovery for those addicted to drugs and alcohol – tells the world with its lofty elevation that it is firmly planted to withstand life’s storms.
Like so much post-Katrina construction in New Orleans, the “second” floor is actually the first working floor, 18 feet above the ground. That’s good thinking, because in 2005, when Lake Pontchartrain came rushing down Bayou Earhart and the “new” Bridge House existed only in Deacon Buzzy Gaiennie’s imagination, high tide reached nine feet.
National College Fair set Sept. 26
High school students are invited to attend the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) College Fair in New Orleans Sept. 26 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Hall C, 900 Convention Center Blvd. Fair hours are 9 a.m.-noon, and again from 6-8 p.m. It’s free admission.
The fair allows students and parents to meet one-on-one with admission representatives from a wide range of national and international, public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
Participants will learn about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings, campus environment and other pertinent information to the college-selection process.
Among the colleges scheduled to exhibit in New Orleans are: Auburn University, Baylor University, Boston University, Florida State University, Johnson and Wales University, Louisiana State University, Loyola University New Orleans, Louisiana Tech, Marymount Manhattan College, McNeese State University, Millsaps College, Nicholls State University, Our Lady of Holy Cross College, Our Lady of the Lake College, Purdue University, Sewanee: the University of the South, Spelman College, Spring Hill College, St. Louis University, Syracuse University, the Catholic University of America, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, University of Alabama, University of Georgia, University of San Francisco and Vanderbilt University.
New president for De La Salle announced
The Board of Trustees of De La Salle High School announced today the appointment of William Hebert as the new president of the school. Hebert was recommended to the Board of Trustees by a search committee composed of De La Salle trustees, alumni, parents, students and teachers. Hebert began working at De La Salle in 1968. He has taught math, chemistry and computer science and has been assistant principal for three different principals.
Hebert has been the supervisor of instruction at De La Salle since 2004 and has also served as the vice president for finances. He received his master’s degree from Loyola University in 1968. Hebert has received the Order of St. Louis medallion from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, was selected as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator of the Year for the New Orleans-Santa Fe District in 2007 and was named an Affiliate of the Christian Brothers in 1993.
Hebert will begin serving as president immediately.
Catholic schools Superintendent Jan Lancaster talks about new initiatives
Dr. Jan Daniel Lancaster is the new superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In this interview with the Clarion Herald, she discusses various school initiatives for the coming year.
You’ve said you want to make sure students in all Catholic schools in the archdiocese reach or exceed accountability standards set by the state of Louisiana. What specific plans might the Office of Catholic Schools adopt to achieve this?
I am committed to implementing educational practices that will ensure lifelong learning, which will further the mission of our Catholic faith. We want students to love learning and become servant leaders who not only will be happy, successful adults but also will strive to make the world a better place. An authentically Catholic school should create a culture of servant leadership and strive for continuous academic excellence, which is achieved by providing ongoing professional development for our teachers and principals. All of our elementary and high schools either have or are currently initiating the SACS accreditation process. This ensures that principals are constantly examining classroom learning and achievement by using data and recommendations from external sources to improve academics. We are also initiating “Discovery Walks” in some of our schools.