Recognizing the accomplishments of local leaders who have contributed to the community is why St. Charles Avenue magazine organized its annual Activists of the Year and Unsung Hero awards in 2004. The Activists of the Year 2007 are Phyllis Taylor and Anthony Recasner, while Baty Landis is the Unsung Hero. These honorees have diverse interests, but coincidentally they all have a significant stake in education. Taylor is the widow of Patrick Taylor, who founded TOPS (Tuition Opportunity Program for Students) and she continues his legacy. Recasner is the city’s first charter school operator and founder in 1998 of the New Orleans Charter Middle School and the Samuel J. Green Charter School. Landis runs youth music clinics at the Sound Cafe. Of course, all three have been involved in a number of other diverse groups.

On Nov. 12, the magazine honored the trio at a party at Martin Lawrence Gallery. The night’s music was organized by Landis, who put together a group including Shamarr Allen on trumpet, Javahanie Jenkins on bass drum, Robert Espino on sousaphone, and youth clinic musicians Jerrel Allen on drum and Dinerral Shavers Jr. on trumpet. The awards were designed and donated by glass artist Mitchell Gaudet. And scrumptious hors d’oeuvres were provided by Joel’s and beverages by Republic Beverage Co.

Pam Cooper, Baty Landis and Linda Bjork

Tony and Andrea Recasner with Ben Johnson

Pat Morrison, Phyllis Taylor and Jerri Cullinan

Boysie Bollinger and Robert Young

Joy Bollinger, Errol Laborde and Mary Coxe

St. Charles Avenue executive editor Bev Church

Javahnie Jenkins, Jerrel Allen, Dinerral Shavers Jr., Robert Espino and Shamarr Allen

Baty Landis with Dinerral Shavers Jr. and Jerrel Allen

Phyllis Taylor, Tony Recasner and Baty Landis hold their awards created by glass artist Mitchell Gaudet.