NOLA Public Schools Elects First Black Woman as Superintendent

Dr Avis Williams
Newly appointed OPSB Superintendent, Avis Williams. (Photo Courtesy of Louisiana Unity Coalition / Black Women's Roundtable)

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Orleans Parish School Board unanimously voted to make Avis Williams the new superintendent for the NOLA Public Schools’ (NOLA-PS) district. 

Williams is the first permanent female superintendent in New Orleans in more than 181 years.

The news release from OPSB reads as follows:

The board and Dr. Williams will now enter contract negotiations. After a successful agreement, she will be formally appointed to the top position during a future board meeting.

“This is an historic moment for our school system and for our city, and the board is excited to extend the superintendency to Dr. Avis Williams. As the first African-American woman appointed to lead our district in its more than 180-year history, her breadth of experience as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, a teacher, principal, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent will help take our students’ education to the next level,” said Olin Parker, OPSB president. “Dr. Williams is committed to working with our schools to increase academic achievement, expand access to mental health services for students, and engage deeply with all community members. I am certain of her commitment to ensuring that our graduation rates continue to rise and the doors of success continue to open for our scholars through college, well-paying jobs, and beyond.”

Williams is an award-winning, proven instructional leader with experience in innovative practices and strategic planning who has demonstrated an ability to increase student achievement in high poverty schools and improve community support as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools.

“I am honored, humbled, and thrilled by this new opportunity with OPSB. I look forward to working with the community to do important work for Every Child at Every School, Every Day. I can’t wait to get started,” Williams said. “My thanks to the OPSB for their trust & confidence. I’m excited to listen — to teachers, students, families, and the NOLA community — and translate what I learn into meaningful actions that I hope will touch lives and open doors for all of our scholars in the future.”

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