ECCS Announces New Exec. Dir. And New Name

NEW ORLEANS – The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools (ECCS) has changed its name to the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools (GNOCCS), reflecting its growing membership and service area.

         The GNOCCS, formerly The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools, is a formal alliance of 14 public schools in the Greater New Orleans area which promotes public charter schools as a permanent and viable option for children. GNOCCS is a voluntary network dedicated to keeping Principals and their charter boards “in charge” through information and advocacy, shared services, and reduced costs.

         “The GNOCCS is continually expanding into other metro areas,” said GNOCCS President and Warren Easton Principal/ CEO Alexina Medley. “We now have schools on the Westbank and in Metairie and Kenner. It was time for our name to reflect our growth.”

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         The collaborative will also name a new Executive Director as of September 1. Dr. Kenneth Ducote will take the helm upon the retirement of Dr. Rose Peterson. Dr. Peterson held the position for nine years. “We are so thankful to Dr. Peterson for her years of dedicated service to the ECCS,” said Medley. “Her passion, hard work and knowledge of the system are incomparable and she will be missed, but we are lucky to have Dr. Ducote step into her big shoes!”

         Dr. Ducote has served as Co-Director of GNOCCS for the past three months. He is a veteran educator and urban planner who has worked as an independent planning and management consultant to several charter schools, school districts, attorneys, and other clients, including the Eastbank Collaborative since Hurricane Katrina. He earned his B.S. cum laude in mathematics from Tulane, and a M.S. in urban studies and planning and Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of New Orleans. Dr. Ducote had a 34-year career in the New Orleans Public Schools as a teacher and administrator, with 20 years as planning or facility planning director. He was named Citywide Teacher of the Year, National School Plant Manager of the Year, and received the Keller Award for Excellence in Government (BGR).

         The GNOCCS is a 501c3, working to maintain the maximum autonomy of each member school, while protecting the long- term structure, durability and operation of all charters in Louisiana. The collaborative was formed in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, when the determination and ingenuity of six Principals facilitated the formation after meeting to share solutions for opening schools after the storm.

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