2018 New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Award Winners Announced

May 25, 2018

Click here to watch students talk about our 2018 NOETA Award Winners!

New Schools for New Orleans launched the New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Award four years ago to honor the incredible educators throughout New Orleans, whose contributions rarely make headlines, but whose impact endures long after their students leave their classrooms.

All of our finalists and award winners were selected based on:

  1. their ability to drive student achievement,
  2. their commitment to developing their skills as educators,
  3. how they build relationships with their students, and
  4. the impact they have had on their school community.

We had 18 finalists and ultimately 7 award winners. And all of them have committed to return to their classrooms next year!

Our finalists and winners this year range in experience from 3 to 25 years, teach all core subjects and serve all populations of students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. They include teachers who serve special populations such as English Language Learners, students reading far below grade level, and students with special needs.

Read more about our winners below and hear what their students have to to say about them in our videos! Congratulations to the 2018 New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Awards Winners!

2018 NOETA Award Winners (L-R):

Stephen Goodly, Sr., Adam Kohler, Chiante Cunningham, Ingrid Rachal, Kenneth Johnson, Camille Zaunbrecher, Katharine Goforth.

Congratulations to the 2018 New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Award Winners!

Adam Kohler

School: KIPP Booker T. Washington
Grade/Subject: 10th Grade, AP World History, World History

“The most sacred promise we make to kids is that we will be with them every step of the way as they climb the mountain to college. Yet very few educators truly stick to this promise and stay with kids through the long haul.  Adam is one of those rare teachers who has stayed committed over the years,” writes Principal Alex Jarrell.

Camille Zaunbrecher

School: George Washington Carver High School
Grade/Subject: 9th-10th Grade, English Language Arts: Reading Intervention

“Camille teaches scholars who have significant reading disabilities and who have only gotten to a second or third grade level throughout their years in school. So far this year, the number of 9th and 10th graders in her class who have improved their reading levels has outpaced the number of scholars who have improved in all other 9th and 10th grade classes. This is a trend that we have never seen before,” writes Lisa Shea, Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

Chiante Cunningham

School: Harriet Tubman Charter School
Grade/Subject: Kindergarten – 6th Grade,  Special Education

“We are so proud of the work and growth [Ms. Cunningham] has made over the years, and the growth we have seen from her scholars. We always hear things like, ‘Without Ms. Cunningham, I am not sure where ____ would be,’ and ‘I’m so thankful for all Ms. Cunningham does for us and so proud of all ___ has accomplished,‘ writes Kevin Lapinski, Director of Special Education.

Ingrid Rachal

School: Mary McLeod Bethune
Grade/Subject: 6th and 8th Grade, English Language Arts

“Ms. Rachal is a visionary. She is constantly in her classroom teaching, planning, and preparing lessons that nurtures the whole child,” writes Principal Mary Haynes-Smith.

Katharine Goforth

School: Cohen College Prep
Grade/Subject: 12th Grade, Social Studies: Sociology

“Ms. Goforth is the most successful teacher in our school at pushing students to achieve college level outcomes while still in high school. Last year, Ms. Goforth was one of the primary drivers of the idea that if we can get students credit for common bachelor degree required courses while still in high school, they will not have to pay for those credits and will be more likely to engage in the courses that will keep them progressing toward graduation,” writes Jacob Purkins, Academic Dean.

Kenneth Johnson

School: Arthur Ashe Charter School
Grade/Subject: 7th Grade, Mathematics

“Students in Mr. Johnson’s class LOVE him and his teaching. Mr. Johnson has a lunch bunch which is a privilege earned for hard work in his class. It’s something students love about his class. Mr. Johnson’s former students are always in his class seeking his advice, his help, and his mentorship. He’s someone who works with other teachers to help them build relationships with students they are struggling with,” writes School Director Ryan Bennett.

Stephen Goodly, Sr.

School: Warren Easton Charter High School
Grade/Subject: 9th Grade,  Algebra I and Math Essentials

“Mr. Goodly is highly engaged with the entire student population. He is a beacon of hope and positively supports our students. Mr. Goodly makes it a point to engage students who are having hardships. I frequently witness Mr. Goodly engage students in the hall, most of whom are not even grade level students, who are frustrated, discouraged, or distracted. But more so, Mr. Goodly follows up with them,” writes Assistant Principal Kendall McManus.


And congratulations to the 2018 finalists:

Click here to watch students talk about our 2018 NOETA Award Finalists!

Ashley Abbott – Akili Academy of New Orleans

Jeff Carver – New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School

Annie Davids – Phillis Wheatley Community School

Katherine Griesberger – KIPP Believe College Prep (Dunbar)

Eboni Jaggers – Renew Cultural Arts Academy

Robert McGriff – Lake Area New Technology Early College High School

Julia Miller – Audubon Charter School

Jestin Moorehead – Morris Jeff Community School

Elaine Pritchett – Cypress Academy

Nia Smith – Eleanor McMain Secondary

Ryan Stivers – Rooted School