Author: Dawn Ruth Wilson

When the Past is Present

Two life-changing moments hit award-winning teacher Christopher Dier at the age of 21. The first struck in a Constitutional law class in his senior year of college. He took the opposing side of a disagreement about arresting Vietnam War draftees…

Chased by Scholarships

Few teenagers hang in coffee shops reading books such as “Living with Our Genes,” but then Amaris Lewis is no ordinary teenager. A graduate of Lusher Charter School with a 4.40 grade point average and an award-winning history of researching…

A Fresh Coat of Paint

While still in her own formative years, Ingrid Rachal’s interests included gymnastics, theatre and becoming a flight attendant. Becoming an award-winning educator never crossed her mind. But today, she’s just that:  she’s been a semi-finalist for state teacher of the…

A Fresh Coat of Paint

While still in her own formative years, Ingrid Rachal’s interests included gymnastics, theatre and becoming a flight attendant. Becoming an award-winning educator never crossed her mind. But today, she’s just that:  she’s been a semi-finalist for state teacher of the…

Speaker of His House

The white board in Adam Kohler’s 10th grade classroom at KIPP Booker T. Washington charter school popped in colors of blue and red, with words such as “left-wing” and “right-wing” scrawled across it. Donkeys and elephants, liberals and conservatives, and…

Teaching for Life

  Within a few months of arriving in Alabama on a short-term contract with Teach for America, a colleague joked that math educator Kenneth Johnson would be a teacher for life. Johnson, now assistant principal at Arthur Ashe Charter School,…

A Blue Ribbon For Lusher

At age 29, when a mere English teacher, Lusher Charter School CEO Kathy Hurstell Riedlinger so impressed Superintendent Everett Williams that he visited her classroom one day and asked a life-changing question: “Well, little girl, what school are you going…

Retailers’ Favorite Season

  As consumers enter the home stretch of their 2018 spending spree, optimism is running high among retailers around the U.S. The National Retail Federation expects this year’s retail sales will top 2017’s total by at least 4.5 percent. And…

Stephen Goodly

  Stephen Goodly, High School State Teacher of the Year, recently recalled the very moment he decided to make teaching his life’s passion. At the time, he was a beginning college student full of plans for a career in computer…

Classic Instruction

  From the depths of hell, Caitlin Meehan-Draper found her life’s calling. A teacher’s discussion of the nine circles of hell created in an epic poem by Dante Alighieri so fascinated a young Meehan-Draper that she was transformed. “I’m hooked,”…

Yearning for Learning

A new Tulane University study shows that the state’s takeover of the majority of New Orleans public schools after Hurricane Katrina paid off for New Orleans school children.   The Education Research Alliance of New Orleans studied the impact of…

Orleans Public Schools

A new survey shows that the public-at-large and more parents believe the quality of New Orleans schools has improved, even though a downturn in student achievement looms on the horizon.   The public’s increasing optimism is based on a decade…

Revamping the School Board

July 1, 2018 will have gone down in history as Independence Day for the New Orleans public school system. Long divided into two systems, one locally controlled and one state controlled, the city’s schools unify this month under the tutelage…

Scott Cowen Speaks Out

Scott Cowen turned over Tulane University’s presidency to another four years ago, but he never gave up pondering problems facing leaders of higher education. He launched a second book recently entitled “Winnebagos on Wednesdays: How Visionary Leadership Can Transform Higher…

Canine Companions

Meet Benny, Chaz, Gunther and Harvey, volunteer reading specialists. They have no academic degrees or lesson plans, no pencils or paper, yet parents of struggling young readers praise their skill and return month after month for another round of their…

Montessori Schools Are Doing It Their Way

Snow fell outside, startling most locals into slow motion, yet Audubon Charter School’s students continued with lesson plans, all carefully mapped out in self-directed notebooks. Grant, a first grader, worked with a bead frame doing subtraction problems. A few feet…