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New Beginnings CEO taps former RSD principals to lead Capdau and Gentilly Terrace

Following a year of leadership turmoil in three of four Capital One-New Beginnings schools, the charter school network’s chief reports she’s filled all the principal vacancies.

Chief Executive Officer Sametta Brown said she’s tapped two former Recovery School District principals to lead Pierre Capdau and Gentilly Terrace charter schools — the final two campuses with open school leader positions.

Desmond Moore, principal of Paul Habans Elementary School, will lead Capdau, Brown said. And Edward Brown, former principal of Abramson Elementary — who is not related to Sametta Brown — will run Gentilly Terrace.

Both Habans and Abramson were direct-run RSD schools that are no longer. Habans will be taken over by the Crescent City Schools charter operator in July. And Abramson permanently shut its doors to students May 23.

After a year in which three of four principals resigned, New Beginnings network leaders recently learned that one-third of school staff would not be returning next year. Capdau and Gentilly Terrace lost 18 employees each through a combination of resignations and non-renewals.

Edward Brown has already selected Jackie Mahatha as his assistant principal at Gentilly Terrace. Mahatha worked under him at Abramson and served as principal of Joseph Craig Elementary School prior to that.

“They are coming as a team,” said Sametta Brown.

Sametta Brown said Moore has yet to select an assistant principal.

Both principals will officially begin with the network July 9, though Brown said they are currently working evenings to ensure schools will be fully staffed.

“I think we’re putting together a great team,” said Brown Wednesday of network’s four principals.

The network also operates Medard Nelson Charter School and Lake Area New Tech Early College High School.

Brown said even though they have quite a few staff spots to fill, the network has received many applications. Those applicants are pre-screened for proper teaching certification and then passed on to principals Brown said.

“I really think that we’re going to have a really great year,” she said.

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About 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 to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.

  • nickelndime

    ‘What goes around really goes around.” (From the movie, “Fallen” with Denzel and John Goodman). Let’s see. You take former RSD administrators from failing/closed/”F” RSD schools and you put them into other RSD schools until either “they” or “the school” shuts down. LOL – the chair is rolling – I am not on the floor yet. Michael!!! – THE LENS is doing it again. It’s supplying me with material. Is this like “recycling” human potential? You know, like they are administrators who have the potential to be good administrators (“C” at least), but they just haven’t been at the right school yet and Sametta is trying to get them there? Gawd bless you, Sametta, for all the good you are doing. Cha ching $$$