2016 Heads of School

Picking the right school for your child is a hard decision. This special section presents select  schools’ guiding voices, where you can hear from the school’s top leader.

HOS sacred heart

Academy of the Sacred Heart

Sr. Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ, Headmistress

The Academy of the Sacred Heart is an independent, Catholic, all-girl, college-prep school offering 17 years of educational programs and services beginning with the one-year-old program through the 12th grade. Founded in 1867 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, students at Sacred Heart are grounded by the deep roots of history, a strong community and relevant faith as well as by a very special culture marked by personal care, warmth and love for each child as a special gift of God. Our students thrive and grow as they discover their unique talents. Dedicated teachers draw out the potential of each student, who grows in confidence as she masters the challenging academic curriculum. As part of an international network of 150 Sacred Heart schools which span the globe in 41 countries, we provide our girls with expansive opportunities for global awareness and social service from the earliest years of their education. They develop relationships that are both close to home and abroad. These enduring friendships transcend their years in school.

Our graduates leave Sacred Heart alive with faith, conviction, courage and confidence to “ make a positive difference in the world.” Whatever their field of endeavor, our students are poised to lead, and to chart the course toward the future horizon. “ Sacred Heart is more than a school—it’s an education for a lifetime and a way of life,” says Headmistress Sr. Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ. “ Our girls experience their school as a transformational place for the journey of their heart, mind, body and spirit.”

4521 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70115 504.891.1943

HOS beary cherry

Beary Cherry Tree

Kim Mumphrey, Early Childhood Coordinator & Four Year Old Teacher

Beary Cherry Tree is one of the most unique child development centers in the Metro New Orleans area. We are a five-star quality child development center, which means low ratios and high quality for each of the families we serve. Our center promotes positive relationships while guiding your child in their physical, mental, social and emotional growth.

Kim Mumphrey, our Early Childhood Coordinator/ Four Year Old Teacher, provides mentoring and collaboration with the staff to ensure that the best methods are used to assist the children at Beary Cherry Tree as they flourish and grow. Kim works collaboratively with many organizations and schools while consistently continuing professional development in order to bring current information to the staff. Our staff implements research-based assessments and aligns our curriculum to meet the individual needs of our children, while guiding them through each developmental stage of growth to set a strong foundation.

3117 Lake Villa Dr., Metairie, La 70002 504.455.1950

HOS Ecole Bilingue

Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans

Pauline Dides, Principal

Founded in 1998, Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans serves more than 245 students from 18 months of age through 8th grade. Ecole Bilingue follows the French National Curriculum and is the only private French immersion school in New Orleans that is accredited by the French Ministry of Education. The school’s experienced teachers come from France, Caribbean islands, Canada, Africa, and the United States. Ecole Bilingue has a proud tradition of providing students with an education that is distinguished by its unique academic approach and supported by a robust and richly diverse student body.

Pauline Dides joined Ecole Bilingue in 2006 and was named principal in 2009. As principal, she was the driving force in securing accreditation for the school’s Cycle 2 program in 2010 and Cycle 3 program in 2012. Dides’ leadership has increased Ecole Bilingue’s enrollment, taking the school from 16 students in 1998 to more than 245 students arriving in the 2016-17 school year. In addition to its accreditation by the French Ministry of Education, Ecole Bilingue is now affiliated with several global networks including the Agence de l’Enseignement du Français à l’Etranger, Association of French Schools in America (AFSA) and Mission Laïque Française. In February 2016, Pauline Dides was elected vice-secretary of the AFSA organization.

Last year Pauline Dides was also named a Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (The Order of the Academic Palms). The award was presented for her extraordinary contribution and devotion to the teaching of French language and culture and contributions to preserving French culture in the United States.

812 General Pershing St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504.896.4500,

HOS holy name

Holy Name of Jesus School

Jessica Dwyer, M. Ed., Principal

Jessica Dwyer is in her 17th year of education during which she has gained experience in public, private, and Catholic school settings. She holds two master’s degrees, one in curriculum and instruction and one in educational leadership, and she is currently working on her doctorate in education administration. Jessica is extremely honored to be a part of an outstanding school with a rich history of educational excellence and tradition in our city. Her goal is to continually hold high expectations for the students and curriculum through a rigorous and comprehensive program of studies, while also working to meet the needs of the student body. Being keenly aware of the duty we are charged with to prepare students for the 21st century world, Jessica is using her understanding of school leadership and curriculum and instruction to propel Holy Name of Jesus to another level of greatness. Holy Name of Jesus is a Pre-K3 through 7th grade co-educational Catholic school.

Holy Name of Jesus School is celebrating is celebrating 125th school year.

6325 Cromwell Pl., New Orleans, LA 70118-6299, 504.861.1466,

HOS jewish Community

Jewish Community Day School

Sharon Pollin, Head of School

Sharon Pollin holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a Master’s degree in education supervision and administration, has engaged in advanced Jewish learning at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and is currently a doctoral candidate in education leadership with a certification in Jewish education leadership. Sharon comes from generations deeply committed to Jewish community. She was a Federation Young Leadership member and was fortunate to participate in the Wexner Heritage program. She has been a Teacher, Curriculum Director, Principal, and Head of School throughout her career as a passionate Jewish day school leader. Sharon’s teaching philosophy is grounded by Jewish values, guided by principles of the Partnership for 21st Century learning, and inspired by the Reggio Emelia approach; together they create a warm, supportive school environment that promotes respect, responsibility, and community.

3747 West Esplanade Ave., Metairie, LA 70002, 504.887.4091,

HOS kinderhaus

Kinder Haus Montessori

Pat Lacoste Founder and Director

In 1984, I opened Kinder Haus Montessori School in Metairie with the vision of providing the highest quality care for young children. Now in our 33rd school year, I can proudly say Kinder Haus has far surpassed my initial dream. Thousands of children have passed through our doors, taking with them many gifts for life.

Within our two schools—the Mandeville campus opened in 1996—we truly embrace the Montessori philosophy of education, allowing children to experience the life-long benefits that accompany it. Children develop concentration skills, become self-motivated, self-directed, and self-confident by being given the freedom of choice in a structured Montessori classroom environment. Children also gain an appreciation for order and learn independence and self-care skills as they, for instance, learn to serve themselves snacks, learn to clean up after themselves and to put their work back on the appropriate shelves.

Kinder Haus introduces each child to academic foundations in Math, Science, Language Arts, and Geography. During the work periods, individual attention to each student from the teachers supports the whole child socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Children excel because they know their teachers believe in them and support them.

The Montessori environment fosters the children’s natural desire to learn and promotes a positive self-concept, which is truly a gift for life. More importantly, the children become compassionate, inquisitive and socially competent. Independence, self-esteem, concentration, and the love of learning are vital for personal success. I invite anyone eager to brighten our world to come and visit.

501 West Napolean Ave., Metairie, LA 70001, 504.454.2424

HOS country day

Metairie Park Country Day School

Carolyn Chandler,Head of School

Metairie Park Country Day School enriches the lives of talented young people in a dynamic learning environment, building strength of both intellect and character within a community that is simultaneously challenging and supportive. Our students learn to be flexible, to be adaptable, and to face the challenges of life with honor, optimism, confidence, creativity, and a sense of humor.

Established in 1929, Metairie Park Country Day School is a co-educational, nondenominational, independent school where care and cultivation of each child, from Pre-K through Grade 12, come to life with exciting and innovative approaches to teaching. Our uses of advanced technology and our expansive, rigorous curriculum open the world to our students. Our outstanding faculty holds our students to high standards while teaching the importance of individual achievement through depth of inquiry rather than mere recitation of facts. The Country Day tradition of developing an aesthetic sensibility in students is reflected not only in our beautiful 14-acre campus, but also in the rich and varied performing and visual arts program that has been a hallmark of our School. Our insistence on intellectual virtues and ethical leadership is woven throughout the daily lives of the diverse individuals that build our community.

Learning in the 21st Century calls for the very values and practices that have made Country Day unique since its inception. Our students are prepared to compete on a global scale and face the future with poise and vigor. The successes of our graduates in college and beyond are a living testimony to the curiosity, involvement, and creativity engendered by our philosophy and our community.

300 Park Rd., Metairie, LA 70005, 504.849.3110

HOS St Andrews

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

Melville Brown, Head of School

The oldest Episcopal school in New Orleans, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is dedicated to providing an outstanding academic education to a diverse student body in a close-knit and supportive environment. Our values of faith, reason anddiversity create the foundation for a community of learners in which every student is known and cared for.

As the newly appointed Head of School, I can personally attest to the warmth of St. Andrew’s and the open arms with which it welcomes families of all backgrounds and faiths. Our students truly feel Dzat homedz in school, and they develop the skills and character to meet the challenges they will face in high school and beyond. St. Andrew’s students routinely test in the top quartile of private school-normed achievement tests and gain admission to the area’s top schools. In a recent survey, 100 percent of alumni respondents indicated they would recommend the school to others.

Most telling, however, is the happy spirit that pervades our classrooms, assemblies and playgrounds. At St. Andrew’s, our teachers allow kids to be kids, while giving them the structure, boundaries and ethical guidance they need to grow into responsible young adults. We truly cherish the DzDecade of

Mr. Brown graduated from Phillips Andover Academy. He holds a B.A. from Duke University, an M.Mus. from the Juilliard School, and an M.Ed. from Columbia University. An accomplished pianist, he has performed and recorded concertos with orchestras in Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe.

8012 Oak St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504.861.3743,

HOS st georges HOS St george quote

St. George’s Episcopal School

Dr. Emma Whitman, Director of Lower School

St. George’s Episcopal School is a true community focused on what each child needs to develop into a powerful learner. Through a collaborative approach to working with families and innovative instructional practices, our students become engaged and confident learners who know how to think critically, work together, and love learning.

The St. George’s curriculum is challenging, rigorous, and inspired. We believe that children learn best when instruction is tailored to meet the needs of each child. The St. George’s faculty prides itself on identifying each child’s strengths and gifts and supporting their growth in every area.

In the Lower School, we use a dynamic curriculum that offers a hands-on approach to learning. We teach reading and mathematics in small groups. In social studies and science, we focus on real-world application which makes learning fun and interesting. We have a thriving creative arts department including a choir, concert band, Orff instrumentation, and a variety of visual arts classes. With advanced foreign language offerings, dramatic and humorous plays, and a wide range of athletic programs, our faculty works to challenge every child to reach their fullest potential in both academic and co-curricular endeavors.

This school year, St. George’s has opened the newly expanded Michael R. Boh Early Childhood Center to respond to the growing need for early childhood education in the city. The facility offers new pre-k and preschool classrooms, an art studio, a Tinker Lab, a culinary space for children and more. Utilizing the Project Approach, the St. George’s Preschool builds the foundational skills that children need for academic success by encouraging curiosity, igniting the imagination, and designing units of study around each child’s interest.

As the former Director of Early Childhood and the current Director of Lower School, I have witnessed the impact of a St. George’s education for hundreds of students. I firmly believe that the most important attribute of a school is that its educators know how to adapt instruction to challenge the individual. Our faculty is committed to the success of our students, discovering where they are now and helping them to prepare for where they will go next.

Finally, St. George’s recognizes that parents are partners in their child’s educational journey. We pride ourselves in offering a warm, family-centered atmosphere with open communication and collaboration among teachers, students, and families. I hope you will join us for an upcoming Open House and see why St. George’s is uniquely positioned to give your child a smart start.

HOS St Martins

St. Martin’s Episcopal School

Merry Sorrells, Head of School

As I enter my fifth year at St. Martin’s, I am extremely proud to look back on our accomplishments from the last 70 years and I cannot wait to see the legacy that the next 70 will bring. We are committed to meeting our students at their level and fostering a lifelong love of learning by giving them tools to think critically and solve real-world problems. This year, St. Martin’s Episcopal School celebrates 70 years of excellence in education through faith, scholarship and service and looks forward to the next 70 years with enthusiasm and promise.

Adding to this outstanding anniversary, is the opening of The Gibbs Family Center for Innovation + Design this fall. This cutting-edge facility will enhance hands-on learning through use of a state-of-the-art design studio, prototype lab, digital classroom, production studio, wood shop, build shop and community partnership workspace.

Another addition to the St. Martin’s campus is the expansion of the George Cottage. The Reggio Emilia-inspired, child-centered curriculum at George Cottage reflects the best practices established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). George Cottage is the area’s leading early childhood program for children eight weeks through three years old. Together children, teachers, and parents learn through exploration, discovery, and having fun.

As an academic powerhouse, St. Martin’s prides itself in preparing its students to succeed well after they graduate. We instill lifelong moral and ethical character development, leading students to not only prepare for college, but to live a meaningful and purposeful life.

225 Green Acres Rd., Metairie, LA 70003, 504.736.0353,

HOS Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall School for Boys

Kevin Avin, Headmaster

The Stuart Hall School for Boys was founded in 1984 by William “Bill’ Gallop in response to a growing need in the New Orleans area for the education of young boys in an independent Catholic preparatory school environment. The School was named for Janet Erskine Stuart, a Religious of the Sacred Heart, who wrote extensively of a philosophy of education espousing faith, scholarship, honor, and leadership-qualities that form the core values of a man of Stuart Hall.

The mission of the Stuart Hall School community is to live the words of our namesake, Janet Erskine Stuart, R.S. C. J., “Education is formation, not just information.”The faculty and staff are dedicated to working with parents to help each child build a foundation for a life centered in a love for learning, a desire to help others, and a commitment to gospel values.

Now in its thirty-third year of existence, the last twenty under the leadership of its second Headmaster, Kevin Avin, Stuart Hall offers a unique value- based experience for boys in grades PreK3 through Seventh.

Stuart Hall, governed by a Board of Trustees, holds membership in the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest/ISAS, the National Association of Independent Schools/NAIS, and the International Boys’ School Coalition/IBSC. As a school of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the standards for the spiritual life of our school and the application of gospel values to everyday life are a daily reminder that Stuart Hall is a place where good boys become great men. 2032 South Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504.861.1954,

HOS St paulsHOS st pauls new quote

St. Paul’s Episcopal School

Charleen Schwank , Head of School

Excitement, creativity, challenge, confidence—at St. Paul’s Episcopal School we believe every child should be engaged in a continuous process of learning and discovery. Nestled in the heart of Lakeview, St. Paul’s provides a loving, family atmosphere, toddlers to 8th grade, where students feel safe to explore, take risks and gain confidence. This allows each child to realize his or her special gifts with the guidance of our highly qualified, experienced faculty.

At St. Paul’s we believe that fostering life-long learning and academic success requires the ability to think critically, demonstrate good character, communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and exhibit cross-cultural competency. These skills are imperative for today’s global citizens and the future leaders of tomorrow. Our programs ensure that St. Paul’s students will meet these goals. Educating for sustainability is intentionally woven throughout the curriculum. We build a solid foundation in the core subjects, especially in Lower School, through hands-on activities and real life applications. The Middle School curriculum is rigorous, and the St. Paul’s approach is one that respects and nurtures middle school students. All grades enjoy the daily use of technology as a tool for learning and creating.

The spiritual development of our children is vitally important as we teach children to be empathetic and respectful of all beliefs. Our service learning program is essential where young students work with special needs children, and middle school students participate in “ PAWS” to Work, a weekly program which provides service to the school community, such as planting the school garden.

Learning extends beyond the classroom. The new Innovation Station is part of our hands-on learning where middle school students will design and build projects related to the curriculum. Outdoor education, cooking in the Outdoor Culinary Center, and field trips create excitement for learning. Our many sports teams reinforce necessary physical and social skills.

A wide range of programs, such as Science Olympiad, Math Olympiads, and Lego League are offered to middle school students. The visual arts program includes pottery, watercolors, charcoal, acrylics, and print making. Performing arts consist of choir, handbells, and the studio band. Spanish is taught from 2 years-8th grade and Latin is a middle school subject.

Please visit our classrooms and learn more about St. Paul’s. We believe our process for learning and discovery is for your child, and we would love to welcome you into the St. Paul’s family. 6249 Canal Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124 504.488.1319

HOS Trinity

Trinity Episcopal School

The Rev. Gary Taylor, Head of School

Since 1960, Trinity Episcopal School has graduated students of exceptional academic and intellectual ability. They are highly sought after by local high schools because of their love of learning, capacity for hard work, and sense of personal responsibility.

The period from infancy through middle school is also when children come to own their personal values, define their lives’ priorities, and develop habits of compassion, resiliency and integrity. It is, as we remind ourselves in our school prayer, when children learn to be Gentle, Generous, Truthful, Kind, and Brave.

At Trinity, we focus on young children. Ours is a community where their intellectual and social aspirations are somewhat shielded from the pressures and temptations of high school and the world beyond.

At Trinity, we attend to the social dimension. Our students learn to navigate a social setting that includes boys and girls. Our Responsive Classroom model helps our children find their voices and learn to listen respectfully to the perspectives of others.

At Trinity, faith matters. Although students and staff come from a variety of faith traditions, our simple, regular chapel services anchor our day and unite our purpose toward a perspective larger than self.

1315 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, La 70130 504.525.8661

Newsletter Signup

Your Weekly guide to New Orleans family fun. NOLA Family has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up