Lusher Charter School’s Kathy Hurstell Riedlinger to be awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by U.S. Dept. of Education

NEW ORLEANS – Joined by Superintendent Henderson Lewis, the U.S. Department of Education will present Lusher Charter School CEO Kathy Hurstell Riedlinger the 2018 Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership. The Bell Award is a Lifetime Achievement Award for a leader in transforming local public schooling. Lusher Charter School will also be named a 2018 Blue Ribbon School at a ceremony the following day.

The award ceremony takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 7., in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. 

Riedlinger is the only school leader being given the Bell Lifetime Achievement Award, a designation given by her peers at the national and local level. Riedlinger, who became Principal at Lusher in 1981, now directs the largest charter school in Orleans Parish, serving more than 1800 students in grades K-12 at two campuses in Uptown New Orleans. The school consistently ranks as one of the best in the state of Louisiana and will receive its second National Blue Ribbon School award. Riedlinger is the longest continually serving principal currently employed in a public school in Orleans Parish.

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Named for the second U.S. Secretary of Education, the Bell Award honors school leaders who are committed to education and improving outcomes for all students. The award is part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Principals are nominated by their school communities during the final stages of the National Blue Ribbon Schools application process.

"Kathy is a Principal with a vision, with a heart, with superb talent in finding and hiring excellent teachers, mentoring them, buffering them and letting them teach,” said Ken Ducote, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools.  "Above all, she is the great communicator of her vision, the courageous cheerleader of her troops, the seasoned expert in student learning and the arts. Ms. Riedlinger has created a legacy for thousands of students and, on behalf of the community, we are all grateful."

“We know strong school leadership is a driving force behind ensuring students and teachers succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “I’m pleased to recognize these talented Bell Award winners who are helping to lead needed transformations at the most local level. Through their leadership, vision and effort, countless students – regardless of their family income, race or language proficiency – are able to excel.”

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