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Barnett served as an educator in Orleans Parish public schools for more than 42 years.
NEW ORLEANS – (November 27, 2019) – Today, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. and members of the Orleans Parish School Board joined family and friends of Mrs. Leonora F. Barnett to celebrate her 102nd birthday. The retired New Orleans public school teacher dedicated more than 42 years of her life to serving the students of Orleans Parish.

Mrs. Barnett taught at Valena C. Jones, Medard H. Nelson, Fisk-Howard, and McDonogh #24 Elementary Schools. During her tenure as an educator, she enjoyed teaching her students on an array of elementary school subjects from reading and writing to math. Mrs. Barnett retired with 42.69 years of service on June 7, 1986 and is currently NOLA Public Schools’ oldest living known retiree.

“It has been an honor to be able to celebrate the birthday of Mrs. Leonora F. Barnett alongside her family and friends today,” said Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. “The retired New Orleans public school teacher spent decades in the classroom which was a testament to her unwavering dedication to our students and schools. Mrs. Barnett serves as an inspiration to all of our teachers across our community of schools.”

The birthday celebration took place at Covenant Nursing Home in New Orleans, Louisiana. Members of the Orleans Parish School Board who were present included President John A. Brown, Sr., Vice President Leslie Ellison and Ethan Ashley. They were joined by New Orleans City Councilmember Jay H. Banks.

“Mrs. Barnett’s career was committed to inspiring and instilling a love of learning in the hundreds of students in her classrooms. Her enthusiasm for education has positively shaped our school community in tremendous ways,” said OPSB Board President John A. Brown, Sr.

“Throughout her career as a NOLA Public Schools’ teacher Mrs. Barnett helped shape a bright future for her students by igniting their imaginations to achieve great things, even when faced with challenges. We appreciate her decades of service and wish her a happy birthday,” said OPSB Vice President Leslie Ellison.

“It’s an inspiration to recognize Mrs. Barnett’s nearly 43-years as an educator in our public school system. The impact that she has made will live on for generations, as she was devoted to uplifting the lives of her students both in and out of the classroom,” said OPSB Board Member Ethan Ashley.

After retirement, Mrs. Barnett’s family confirms she taught GED classes at Odyssey House. Mrs. Barnett is a graduate of McDonogh 35 High School. According to relatives, she attended Straight University and graduated from Dillard University, and did graduate work while in her 60s at UNO.

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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. For more information, visit

Mrs. Leonora F. Barnett poses with faculty

External Resources

NOLA Public Schools. Every Child. Every School. Every Day.

2401 Westbend Parkway
New Orleans, Louisiana 70114

Phone: 504-304-3520

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