Board Member Focus: Avery Corenswet, Success Preparatory Academy

Why did you choose to serve?AveryCorenswet
Through New Schools for New Orleans, I met with the two co-founders of Success Preparatory Academy and was excited to work with them. They had a strong vision for a K-8 school that supported the whole child. Their mission statement – “We develop college bound students for leadership and lifelong learning” – was powerful. Seven years later, I am thrilled to see the progress that the school has made.

How did you become involved with your school?
I was interested in supporting the efforts to improve the public school system in Orleans Parish post-Katrina. I heard about the work that New Schools for New Orleans was doing to incubate new charter schools and contacted them in 2008. They were looking for board members for four new schools that were applying for charters for the 2009-2010 school year. After meeting with the two co-founders of Success Preparatory Academy, I was excited to work with them.

What leadership roles have you held while serving on the board?
I was the first Chair of the Board from 2008-2010 which encompassed the application process to BESE, the start-up process and the first year of operation. I have continued on as a board member, participating on the Governance committee until 2013. Due to term limits in our by-laws, I will be rotating off the board in June of this year.

How can people help your school if they are interested?
They can support us financially to help us continue the many programs we offer to our students. This year we are taking our 8th graders on a trip to Atlanta to see colleges. We also have a classroom sponsorship program – each class is identified by a college or university and we ask that alumni support the classrooms so we can obtain t-shirts and other materials from those schools. They can also help by volunteering at the school.