JFK Excessive’s proud legacy will stay on at Lake Space New Tech | Letter

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, our beloved John F. Kennedy school grounds were destroyed. But the legacy of our school as a community pillar and highly revered educational and cultural institution lives on through our alumni base. We are the pride, history and strength of our alma mater. And we are respected business and community leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs and cultural icons of today.

In the 12 years since Kennedy’s doors closed, we have gathered and hosted various events throughout New Orleans celebrating our school’s legacy. But we also put in work to bring our school back to a building to educate the next generation of JFK alumni greats. That work included petitions, thousands of phone calls and attending numerous meetings. We declared that “we are the building” and showed unwavering dedication to bringing our school back to life.

When New Beginnings Schools Foundation met with us to discuss the potential name change of Lake Area New Tech Early College High School to our beloved John F. Kennedy High School, we agreed it was a win-win for our alumni base and the school. The JFK NOLA Alumni Network would get a student body and campus to resurrect our legacy and Lake Area would get a proud alumni network to help plant solid roots and infuse community support.  Exemplifying our excitement, hundreds of proud JFK alumni filled the halls of Lake Area on Nov. 30 to hear the New Beginnings board of directors unanimously vote to pass a resolution to the Orleans Parish School Board for approval to change the charter school’s name. We were also elated when the School Board approved the change on Dec. 8. 

As we integrate the Lake Area and JFK alumni bases, we are fully committing our time, talent and treasure to support these efforts and will take an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure the success of all students both inside and outside of the classroom.

We are grateful to the JFK NOLA Alumni Network organizer, Tiger Watson, and the Alumni Leadership Committee for leading the rename and rebranding efforts. And we thank New Beginnings CEO Michelle Blouin-Williams, the board of directors and the entire organization for their willingness to work together on this partnership. John F. Kennedy High School will be resurrected during the 2018-2019 school year. And we couldn’t be more excited!

Cougars for Life!

Rochelle Valsaint

JFK NOLA Alumni Network Communications Lead

New Orleans

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