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KIPP Community East Primary School Leader Jennifer Dennis Carey Named the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2020 Principal of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – (July 25, 2019) – NOLA Public Schools (NOLAPS) is proud to recognize KIPP East Community Primary (KECP) School Leader Jennifer Dennis Carey for her outstanding efforts as an educator and for being named the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE)’s 2020 Principal of the Year.

“We are proud of Jennifer for achieving this high honor. She is an exemplary educator and leader who through her work is continuing to help students and her colleagues achieve great success,” said NOLAPS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “Her work has positively impacted hundreds of lives since first stepping into a classroom almost 15-years ago and we are grateful for her continued commitment to her students in New Orleans. Having the Louisiana Department of Education honor one of our own educators in this way is inspirational to us all. ”

Carey began her educational work in New Orleans more than 10 years ago as a fifth grade reading teacher and assistant principal of the lower school at KIPP Central City Academy. She was a founding member of KECP and has served as school leader since 2013. Under her leadership, she has grown KECP’s capacity from 10 teachers and 100 kindergarten students in 2014 to the school’s current team of 60 teachers and 560 students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.

“When I started teaching nearly 15 years ago, I never would have thought working in education would be my life’s work. I am now more committed than ever to this profession and believe teaching and leading in schools is the most impactful way anyone can shape their community. I am truly grateful for First Lady Donna Edwards, the Louisiana Department of Education, and Dream Teachers, for recognizing my passion for education, students and school leadership. While I may be the one receiving this award, I stand on the shoulders of countless individuals who have prepared me for this moment and shaped me into the leader I am today,” said LDOE 2020 Louisiana Overall Principal of the Year Jennifer Dennis Carey. “Educators have the hardest yet most incredible job in the world. We get up every day to mold the minds of tomorrow’s leaders and create an environment for our kids to thrive in. This award is not just for me, but it is for every educator across Louisiana that believes in the power of education and what it means to our kids. My hope is that, together, we can continue to get stronger so that we can inspire our kids to dream bigger and achieve higher.”

In the school’s first year of LEAP testing, KIPP East Community scored in the top 10 elementary schools in New Orleans. Additionally, the school scored in the top 20 percent of Louisiana public schools that serve a population with a student population that is 75 percent economically disadvantaged. 

“On behalf of the entire team and family of KNOS, I am incredibly proud of Jenny. Having been with KNOS for 12 years, she is a true leader in this organization and has opened the door for many. Our organization is stronger because she is a part of it. She has built such a special school community for students and families, including her own son who is in first grade. We have always noticed her impact, tenacity and leadership. It is a true pleasure to see the State recognize it as well,” said KIPP New Orleans Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Kalifey-Aluise.

Prior to her educational work in New Orleans, she worked for Teach for America and taught in the South Bronx in New York City. Carey received her bachelor's degree in political science from Emory University in Atlanta and a master's degree in teaching from Pace University in New York City.

ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools, including 75 charter schools, three direct-operated schools and a school with two educational programs for students in secure-care facilities. For more information, visit For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

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