Throw Me Somethin’: Behrman’s leader principal is tops _lowres

Photo provided - Rene Lewis-Carter has been named the State of Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year.

It’s back to school for students, teachers and administrators, and Rene Lewis-Carter is returning to Martin Behrman Charter Academy of Creative Arts and Sciences as Louisiana’s 2016 Middle School Principal of the Year.

“I think the coolest thing about this is being recognized for what I love to do,” Lewis-Carter said about the honor bestowed July 11 by the Louisiana Department of Education at the ninth annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration in Baton Rouge.

“There is no greater field than education,” Lewis-Carter said. “And this is the first time that a charter school principal received the award, so this is quite an honor.”

The Education Department, in partnership with Dream Keepers and the Louisiana Association of Principals, recognizes teachers and school leaders who help students meet rigorous goals and who continually improve instruction. More than 60 school districts participated in the Teacher and Principal of the Year program, and Lewis-Carter was chosen from nine finalists.

A veteran educator with 24 years of experience, Lewis-Carter is a founding principal of the Algiers Charter School Association, created in 2005. There are six schools in the association, and during Lewis-Carter’s tenure, Behrman has become one of the highest-performing open-enrollment elementary schools in New Orleans.

Born and raised in Algiers, Lewis-Carter attended All Saints Catholic School, John Ehret High School and Our Lady of the Holy Cross College. Recognized nationally as an expert in teacher recruitment, retention and development, and for her commitment to arts integration in schools, she was featured in the national education magazine Edutopia article “A Louisiana School Leader Answers the Call of Duty” in 2009.

“My parents and many of my family members were educators,” Lewis-Carter said. “They were a strong influence and gave me the feeling that I could do some good.” She also recognized the support of her son, Brice, 12, and her husband, James Carter, “who allows me to do this work 24/7.”

Behrman is her home away from home, Lewis-Carter said.

“I can say that the charter school construct has been instrumental in allowing me to do good work,” she said, adding that her years as a flight attendant helped her become a better teacher and school administrator.

“Like flight attending, educating is about customer service,” Lewis-Carter said. “It is about doing the very best job I can do to please those I am working for. My mission is to educate the children I have the honor to serve every day and to make schooling better for the entire community.”

Attic sale

The Sisterhood at Temple Sinai Synagogue will hold its annual Community Attic Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to noon Monday at the synagogue, 6227 St. Charles Ave.

A $10 per person “early bird” special will be offered at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Admission is free during regular sale hours.

Sisterhood member Sabina Altman said items include furniture, clothing, paintings and glassware.

For information, call (504) 861-3693.

Plant sale

Bring a wagon to haul your selections at the New Orleans Botanical Garden plant sale from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Pelican Greenhouse in City Park, off of Henry Thomas Drive and south of the Interstate 610 underpass. Cash, checks, and credit and debit cards will be accepted.

For information, call (504) 483-9464, and for a list of plants to be sold, email

Volunteers welcome

City Park is hosting Super Saturday, a volunteer event including individuals and groups from 8:45 a.m. to noon Saturday, beginning at the Volunteer Center at 1009 Harrison Ave., where assignments and tools will be handed out. Tasks include painting, planting, pruning, raking and mulching.

Wear a brimmed hat and closed-toe shoes or boots, and bring a water bottle and sunscreen. For information, call (504) 300-6394.

Senior Olympics

The Greater New Orleans Senior Olympics will host a free basketball rally for men and women 40 and older at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Joe W. Brown Gym, 5601 Read Blvd. in eastern New Orleans. For information, call Bernice Bordelon at (504) 834-5279 or email; or call Ann Hassenboehler at (504) 828-9766 or email

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at