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School rated top in the state; board seats Lusher alumna Andrea Armstrong

Advocates for Arts Based Education Corp. the board governing Lusher Charter School, met Oct. 12 in room 207 of the Freret Street campus. The monthly meeting began at 6:05 p.m. and ended 18 minutes later.

Board President Blaine LeCesne was present as were members Paul Barron, Carol Whelan, Rachel Wisdom, Ann Salzer and Kristin Huston. Members Andrew Wisdom and Susan Krinsky were absent. A reporter for The Lens was the only member of the audience.

The meeting began with adoption of the previous meeting’s minutes.

Next was the unanimous election of Andrea Armstrong to the board.

“I think I said last meeting she’ll be a great candidate,” LeCesne said, citing Armstrong’s record of achievement. Armstrong attended Lusher and Ben Franklin High School, completed her undergraduate education at New York University and earned a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University and a law degree from Yale University.

“She’s so ideally suited for us because she understands the Lusher program and the Lusher culture,” LeCesne said.

Lusher’s Chief Executive Officer Kathy Riedlinger then congratulated the board and the school on its grade on the Louisiana Department of Education School Report Card.

“The School Report Card came out and we received a grade of A+, which we’re thrilled about,” Riedlinger said. “We are the top performing K-12 school [in the state]. Hats off to teachers, most of all to kids and parents who supported us all the way.”

She said she is proud of all the schools in the city but is excited Lusher is number one.

“There are many schools in our city who have done outstanding work, particularly since the storm, whose school grades do not reflect the work done,” Riedlinger said. “I just need to mention that, sometimes those grades don’t always reflect the growth those schools have made and the hard work that has gone into those programs.”

Finally, she discussed the funding for refurbishing given by the state’s Master Plan, which is offering Lusher $4.7 million for its elementary site and $18.7 million for its Freret St. campus.

She said she hopes this covers all repairs necessary on Freret, including the windows, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning and roof damage, which has yet to be fully assessed.

“We should be able to get everything on our wish list, including the roof, for that amount of money,” LeCesne said.

Riedlinger urged the Lusher community to attend a meeting to discuss the master plan. The meeting is on Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at McDonogh 35 High School, 1331 Kerlerec St.

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