2024 Faces of NOLA Family

2024 The Face of Charter School Education

As Chief Executive Officer of The Willow School, Nicolette London is building upon Willow’s (formerly Lusher’s) century-old legacy as a leader in quality K-12 arts-integrated public education in Orleans Parish, with a renewed commitment to growth, equity and innovation.

A lifelong, experienced public educator, Ms. London previously served in leadership positions within the Orleans Parish School Board and Benjamin Franklin Elementary. In her two years as Willow’s CEO, London transitioned the school through its name change, re-dedicated each of the three school campuses to a groundbreaking New Orleans leader, and led an intensive analysis of Willow’s policies, practices and resources. She opened a new, independent middle school campus adjacent to the high school campus, which shares the refurbished Brees Family Field and athletic complex.

“My goal is to maintain the quality academic and community connection that Willow is nationally known for while integrating culturally relevant initiatives in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion for all of our communities,” London says. “Our core commitment to high academic standards and putting kindness first is being enhanced with courageous ideas.”

Willow teachers are dedicated to supporting each student in their exploration of new skills and interests. A walk through a Willow campus on any given day provides a glimpse into the wide array of opportunities available to its students.

“A high school student can kick off their day, building a robot in engineering class, follow that up with a lunch-time meeting or service project with any of nearly 50 clubs, rehearse for an upcoming performance and compete in one of 14 sports teams into the evening,” she says.

The Willow School is an in-demand, “A” rated public charter school, a two-time National Blue Ribbon School, and the highest rated K-12 public school in the state of Louisiana. London envisions a future for the school that goes beyond its present achievements and sets a new standard for innovative education.

“Willow will always embody the highest standards of academic excellence and service,” says London. “Our students will be social and global leaders who are a testament to the power of public education in shaping the world’s future.”

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