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Lusher anti-bullying effort wins $10,000 award from Brees

Lusher Charter School CEO Kathy Riedlinger and High School Principal Wiley Ates announced Saturday that Lusher students’ “I Am” campaign idea had won $10,000 in the Drew Brees “Trust Your Crazy Ideas” competition, beating out St. Augustine High School, New Orleans College Prep Charter School, and Isidore Newman School.

Riedlinger shared the news during the Lusher Charter School board meeting Sat., Dec. 8.

The “I Am” campaign is an anti-bullying effort that encourages self-reflection. Ates said that the students are so enthusiastic about the effort they have put aside some of the prize money to host their own similar internal promotion among Lusher students, and hopefully fund student ideas that come through the school.

No new information was forthcoming on Lusher’s search for a new building. “We haven’t met with contractors or gotten stabilization money,” reported Riedlinger, who is still hoping to have everything out of the way this summer.

Money raised from Lusher’s upcoming Annual Fun Run with Parent Teacher Student Association, will go toward a campus renovation plan devised partly by Tulane several years ago. The dumpster area on Pine Street will be moved, and a new closure will be constructed around the Pine St. air conditioning. Leftover money will go toward smaller landscape improvements.

Riedlinger also announced that Lusher would work in cooperation with Tulane University, housing the college’s intramural and extracurricular sports activities and donating use of Lusher’s field while Tulane builds its new stadium.

“Most of Tulane’s practices will occur after our kids are finished.” Riedlinger said. “We are very glad to do this for Tulane; they’ve been a very good partner. And any damage to the field, they’re willing to help us with that.”

Sam Wagner was introduced as Lusher’s new college counselor in charge of helping students navigate the enrollment process. Wagner, a former Metairie Park Country Day counselor, said that 50 percent of Lusher students had begun their applications.

Enrollment applications are due by Jan. 13. Over 300 kindergartners have been tested so far, putting Lusher on target for a record number of applications this year.

Present at the meeting were Blaine LeCesne, Paul Barron, Rachel Wisdom, Ann Salzer, Kristin Huston, Andrea Armstrong, plus CEO Kathy Riedlinger, Wiley Ates, Lynden Swayze, Sheila Nelson and Sam Wagner.

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