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Strong application season requires lotteries; hands-on gardening project to begin at zoo

The board of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans has approved Hema Banangada as its interim treasurer. Banangada replaces outgoing board treasurer Mignhon Tourné, who was absent. The vote followed disagreement over precisely what the bylaws had to say about voting in a new officer during an ex-officer’s unfinished term.

Board chairman Andrew Abrams said that he “was very grateful for someone coming in with Banangada’s level of sophistication as treasurer.”

With the application period for the 2012-13 school year now closed, Lycée principal Jill Otis reported a “tremendous number” of applications. Pre-kindergarten, second, third and fourth grades held a lottery for admission. Registration of students who have been accepted will be at the end of February, with a makeup registration date on March 3 from 9-12 a.m.

Otis also updated the board on a garden project that will soon be introduced at the zoo campus. The project exposes students to scientific inquiry in a hands-on setting. Students will be working with animals and plants in what Otis described as an opportunity to “describe connections between life experiences and the written word.” The students will attend a farmer’s market as the project’s culmination.

The planning for the annual fundraiser, Fete de la Musique, is well underway, board secretary Catherine MacPhaille reported. The planning committee hopes to raise  $15,000-20,000 at the auction alone. The adults-only party is a French-themed school benefit open to all Louisiana residents. It will be held March 10 at Generations Hall. The event features a musical lineup that MacPhaille said is “not hard to sell people on.” The lineup includes The Original Liberty Jazz Band, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns and GALACTIC. With over 500 sponsorships already secured, the momentum of the event is growing so that, according to MacPhaille, “the goal in five years is for this to be a real festival outside, maybe in City Park.” All members of the public are encouraged to buy tickets and attend.

The meeting began at 6:45 p.m. and ended at 7:20 p.m. In addition to Abrams MacPhaille and Banangada, board members Dr. Thomas Klingler, Allen Kelly, Dr. Jean Montés, Kenneth Charity and Paige Saleun were present. Philippe Aldon, represented the French consulate.

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