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NOLA-PS & COMMUNITY ACADEMIES TO HOST RIBBON CUTTING FOR RENOVATION OF SCHOOL BUILDING RENAMED AFTER LEAH CHASE


Marks first formal school ceremony recognizing its name change after OPSB's renaming initiative to remove names reflecting our painful past


WHAT:

NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) and Community Academies of New Orleans (CANO) are proud to announce the completion of the Lafayette School building's $7 million renovation and name change to the Leah Chase School building, following the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) recently voting unanimously to rename several school buildings bearing the names of figures from our painful past.


Leah Chase is a national figure not only in the culinary arts, but also in the striving for civil rights. To have her legacy on a NOLA Public Schools building will be a beacon that will shine on for future generations of New Orleanians working to be the good change in our City.


ALL MEDIA MUST RSVP TO COMMUNICATIONS@NOLAPUBLICSCHOOLS.COM BY 5PM FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, IF YOU PLAN ON ATTENDING. WE ALSO ASK THAT YOU RESPECT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THAT MEMBERS OF YOUR TEAM WEAR PROTECTIVE MASKS ONSITE. OUR TEAM WILL FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES AS WELL. IN ADDITION, WE ASK THAT YOU PLEASE HAVE PROOF OF VACCINATION OR A NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULT.



WHEN:

Monday, November 8 • 10am



WHERE:

2727 South Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118



B-ROLL:

Leah Chase mural, renovations, two classrooms



WHO:

-Ethan Ashley, Orleans Parish School Board President

-Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr., NOLA-PS Superintendent

-Myrialis King, CANO CEO

-The Family of Leah Chase



WHY:

The CANO and NOLA-PS school community are excited to unveil the renovations and mark one of 26 NOLA-PS schools to be renamed following months of public input, hundreds of name considerations, and historical research. The OPSB voted and approved Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr.'s list of recommendations for the renaming of several public school buildings this past June.


"Leah Chase is a culinary and civil rights icon, reflecting a legacy that has inspired many New Orleanians and will for generations to come," said Dr. Lewis. "We look forward to honoring her posthumously, alongside her family and we look forward to building a legacy of historical icons our children and community can be proud of."


"This renaming is serendipitous for Lafayette because Leah Chase' daughter Stella Chase Reese was a teacher at Lafayette Academy for many years," said Myrialis King, CANO CEO. "Community Academies is humbled and honored to educate in a building named after such a preeminent Black woman leader of our city and a national treasure. We look forward to living fully into this community connection and celebrating her legacy with our community."


The idea for the new building name came from a current Lafayette Academy parent who felt the name would best represent the legacy of the storied institution.


Monday's ribbon cutting will also commemorate the completion of the school building's $7 million renovation, the unveiling of a never-before-seen Leah Chase Mural, and Lafayette Academy's return to excellence.


Leah Chase (1923-2019) was the nation's preeminent Creole chef and New Orleans' special daughter. Her restaurant, Dooky Chase, was known as a gathering place during the 1960s among many who participated in the Civil Rights Movement and was known as a gallery due to its extensive African American art collection. In 2018, it was named one of the 40 most important restaurants of the past 40 years by Food & Wine.

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About NOLA Public Schools: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish. It includes the district's administration and elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 76 public schools and is led by Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr.


For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools. 

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