Today’s Teacher: Scarlet Cornelius

By New Schools for New Orleans

This is the first post in our Tomorrow’s Teachers Series, which looks at New Orleans “Grow Your Own” Program, a part of the state’s Grow Your Own Initiative. “Grow Your Own” initiatives seek to find great teachers locally, developing communities’ young people to become educators in their own school system. At NSNO, we are raising funds to support these programs. Currently, three local schools – Booker T. Washington High School, John F. Kennedy High School, and Warren Easton Charter High School are involved. We hope the work can expand to more high schools soon, as we feel it is a crucial part of finding strong new teachers and ending the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention in our city. 

We’ll be profiling current New Orleans public school students who are part of this program as well as the teachers helping them prepare for that future. We’ll also meet school team members, like paraprofessionals, who are preparing for roles as full-time teachers. In this first piece, we focus on the KIPP New Orleans Schools Alumni Teaching Force. Currently, in this program, high school seniors who are interested in a career as an educator student-teach in high school in preparation for a full-time teaching job after college graduation. For our first piece, we’re getting to know the educator in charge of the program–Scarlet Cornelius.

New Orleans, like many cities nationally, is facing a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention. But a growing group of students are preparing our city for a different reality.

Last spring, students at Booker T. Washington High School and John F. Kennedy High School filled out an “interest survey” about classes they wanted to take in the year ahead. One course, “Foundations of Education,” had thirty open spots across the two campuses. Over sixty students wanted to sign up. 

They wanted to be part of an in-demand program: the KIPP New Orleans Schools Alumni Teaching Force. The program is led by Scarlet Cornelius, who also teaches the Foundations of Education Course. They hope to expand it next year to meet demand.

Read the full article here.