Warren Easton’s board of directors voted to form an additional nonprofit in order to collect anonymous donations for the existing Warren Easton Charter Foundation.

“There are many people who like to give, but don’t like to make it public,” said board president David Garland.

The board held an executive session at its meeting Oct. 17 to discuss legal opinions regarding the formation of an additional nonprofit. Garland cited legal professional privilege as the reason for the closed session.

When asked by a reporter from The Lens to cite an exception to the state’s open meetings law that allowed the board to do this, members Garland and David Napoleon inspected a list of exceptions provided by the reporter. Garland said the proposed session fell under the exception that allowed for “any other matters now provided for or as may be provided for by the legislature.”

After the 20-minute closed session the board voted to create an additional nonprofit.

“We are going to form a new 501(c) 3 for the purpose of accepting anonymous private donations for the school,” Garland said in summation of the motion.

The school’s financial officer Mike Greer said the school’s audit had been completed and submitted to the state and school board as required.  The financial report was accepted as recommended by the finance committee.

The school hired Marcel McGee as its grant writer developer, a new position that carries a $55,000 salary.  McGee will develop new grants for the school and work on Warren Easton’s 100 year anniversary committee. McGee formerly served as the director of annual giving at Loyola University New Orleans.  He began working at Warren Easton on Oct. 15.

Committee chair Billy Hatchett provided updates on the school’s 100 year anniversary plans.  He said a brick fundraiser– where donors purchase custom-engraved bricks to be set around the school’s flagpole– could net between $180,000 and $200,000.  Hatchett said a fundraising concert in honor of Pete Fountain is also in the works. Trombone Shorty and Nicholas Payton are likely performers for a January date that is yet to be determined.

Member Bobby Delle is completing training on Compass, the state’s new school leader evaluation system.  Delle will then join Garland to evaluate principal Alexina Medley.

Members Garland, Napoleon, Delle, Hatchett, David Benelli, and Charles Petrey were present.  The meeting began at 6:13 p.m. and adjourned at 7:41 p.m.  The next meeting will be held Nov. 14 at the school.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...