The executive director of Teach for America Greater New Orleans said she will seek a seat on Louisiana’s top school board.
Kira Orange Jones, 32, said she plans to run for the District 2 slot on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, called BESE.
The post is now held by Louella Givens, of New Orleans, who is expected to seek a second term.
The primary is Oct. 22.
BESE is an 11-member panel that sets policies for an estimated 668,000 public school students statewide. Eight of its members are elected and three are appointed by the governor.
“Growing up, I was fortunate to have some outstanding teachers that inspired me to persist in school and to learn,” Orange Jones said in a prepared statement.
“As a teacher, I also saw firsthand what my own fourth-graders (in Baton Rouge) were capable of when held to high expectations,” she said.
“I am now focused on helping every child in Louisiana have the opportunity for an excellent education,” Orange Jones said.
“They deserve nothing less.”
Teach for America recruits top-flight college graduates, puts them through an intense training process and then sends them to troubled public schools.
Orange Jones said her job means she supervised over 1,000 teachers and a $10 million annual budget.
Orange Jones received an undergraduate degree in political theory from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Ct., and a master’s degree in education from Harvard.
The BESE district covers parts of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes.