Christy Swauncy, Principal
“My motivation for this work is building quality relationships and seeing students and families reach their goals.¨
Ms. Christy has been in New Orleans since 1998 when she attended Dillard University. She has been an educator for 17 years. She has 3 children, and is newly married but has been with her husband for 12 years. She truly believes that there is no other career that would bring her this much joy and she is excited to be the Principal of the NET: Central City!
John Lacarbiere, Dean of Students
"I want my students to be themselves and love themselves enough to do what's best for them and their families."
Mr. John is a New Orleans native and a graduate of John McDonough Senior High School. Mr. John enjoys connecting with people and helping others. He’s a full-time spoken word artist. In high school, he studied independently, made straight A’s, and he hung with the “cool” kids. He was popular. In retrospect, Mr. John realized his attitude towards school and his behavior wasn’t the best in a group setting because while he was making A’s, his behavior was distracting others. He had a lot of fun. He graduated as his class valedictorian. Since 2010, he's been working in education. He wants to be the change he wanted to see in education. Before coming to The NET, Mr. John was working at Whole Foods and substitute teaching part-time, while also traveling around the country performing.
Biography by NET student Azzan
Valerie Bodet, Co-Founder & Real World Learning Advisor
“Being with young people energizes me. I enjoy watching others learn and grow.”
Ms. Valerie is a New Orleans native and co-founder of The NET, with over 20 years of experience in education. She has a Masters in Forestry and loves to teach outside. She first taught science as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon, Central Africa. She has worked with New Orleans’ youth in public schools as a classroom science teacher and in the outdoors as Director of the Louisiana Outdoors Outreach Program. Ms. Valerie says her expectations for all young students is that they learn how smart they are and learn to take positive risks while gaining confidence through those experiences. You can find her teaching outside all year or enjoying Jazz Fest in the springtime!
Biography by NET student Alexius
Elizabeth Claiborne, Interventionist Teacher
"In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn."
Education has always been Ms. Claiborne's passion in life! She enjoys teaching, loves to do photography in her spare time, and believes in community! She looks forward to helping students reach their full potential!
Lori Colgan, Special Education Coordinator
Ms. Lori is originally from New Orleans and has been a special education teacher and adolescent counselor in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and Virginia. She has a Bachelor's of Education from Old Dominion University and a Master's Degree from Xavier University. She is passionate about advocating for students who have unique ways of learning and understands that positive relationships at school are a critical component of student success. She loves to travel and has backpacked across countries around the world. She loves how the staff at The NET are willing to go above and beyond to support students in earning their high school diplomas.
Zachary Graham, Math Teacher
"The reward of knowing you raised a child in the way they should go."
Zachary Graham, New Orleans native Purple Knight and a graduate of the illustrious Howard University, is one of our brightest and most hilarious staff members! He is currently serving as a teacher of mathematics and is passionate about providing excellent education to students!
Bailey Griswold, Data and Enrollment Coordinator
“I really like working with young people and wanted to make sure all students have the opportunity to get a good education.”
Ms. Bailey is from Platteville, Wisconsin. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously served as a City Year Corps Member in Jacksonville, FL. She loves the way The NET views and values the young people of New Orleans and enjoys the small and supportive environment that fosters positive relationships, personal growth, and accountability. Ms. Bailey enjoys eating great food, reading, Netflix, and being with friends.
Biography by NET student Gerrick
Rasheeda Henry, Academic Dean
Rasheeda comes with over 18 years of experience and has taught grades 1-12 within New Orleans Public Schools. Her educational experiences have afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with diverse groups of individuals to increase student achievement. Her educational belief is that all children can learn and should have a stimulating educational environment, where they can grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. Furthermore, Rasheeda received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Southern University at New Orleans in 2005. She attended Xavier University of Louisiana, where she earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a special interest in Special Education. After several years of teaching, she returned to Xavier University of Louisiana, earning a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Rasheeda completed a Special Education Leadership two-year fellows’ program, and also holds a Louisiana level 3 teaching certificate and Educational Leadership license. Outside of working, she continues to keep busy by creating memories with her husband and two children.
Leonard Kelly, Dean of Students
“Resources give kids options.¨
Mr. Leonard Kelly, born in New Orleans, graduated from Joseph S. Clark in 1998 and attended Grambling State University. He loves his city and is willing to do what ever it takes to give our kids a opportunity to reach their highest potential.
Kelley Leggins, Special Education Teacher
"Keep a 'growth mindset,' be goal oriented, remain humble and hungry for knowledge."
Mr. K, a New Orleans native with a wife and two young sons, is a special education teacher at the Central City campus. He collaborates with teachers across content areas to provide additional academic support for our students. He's focused, artistic, the oldest of four boys, and has been cutting hair since he was eleven, so it's no surprise he also has a side job as a barber. By appointment only.
Erin Lierl, ELL Teacher and Coordinator
Ms. Erin has taught English among Tibetan refugees in Thailand and Burmese refugees in India, as well as international university students, adult learners, and high school students in New Orleans. She holds a BA in political science and Latin American Studies from Loyola University New Orleans and an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. She likes learning languages, reading, writing, and swimming in the ocean.
Nell Okula, Mental Health Counselor
Ms. Nell is from New York, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from New York University before relocating to New Orleans for her Master's in Social Work at Tulane University. Prior to joining The NET, she provided case management, education advocacy, and supportive services to court-involved youth and their families. In her free time she likes to read, sing, dance to Cajun music, and run. She is excited by the positive energy at The NET.
Robin Perkins, Food Service Manager
“I wanted to work in the schools because I love people. I’m a people person.”
Ms. Robin is the Food Service Manager at The NET: Central City, making sure all our students are provided with nutritious and delicious meals every day. She’s been working with New Orleans Parish schools as a cook since 1992. Ms. Robin would like to visit Boston or Brooklyn on a getaway trip someday.
Biography by NET student Gerrick
Chantell Singleton, Teacher & Advisor
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste." - Arthur Fletcher
Ms. Chantell is a New Orleans native, and now a Teacher & Advisor at the NET: Central City. She has taught 4th grade ELA , Social Studies and Corrective Reading Intervention. She has degrees in Psychology and Mental Health and Wellness, and is currently a Doctoral learner in Advance Human Behavioral Analysis. She looks forward to working with students this year in helping them reach their highest academic achievements.
Cheyenne Stone, History Teacher
“Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance wheel of the social machinery.” — Horace Mann, 1848.
Mr. Stone earned a masters degree in education from the City University of New York Brooklyn College. He is passionate about education and believes it should be equal for all students. He is a energetic and creative facilitator of education.
Tim Spahn Sattler, LRS Coordinator
“What happens here, stays here, but what’s learned is taken with us.¨
Mr. Tim was born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, California. He has been working in education for eight years, with a degree in Public Policy from USC. Tim chose to work in education after deciding that the best way to create systemic change was through supporting the transformative power of youth. Before joining the NET staff, Tim worked at YouthBuild Charter High School of California, and then RiseUp Community School in Denver. Mr. Tim connects students with the internships across the city, helping them ignite their passions, develop their dreams and learn valuable skills and experiences for the future. He works hard to teach the students of the NET to build their own destiny and to be willing to push themselves to achieve their goals. In his downtime, Mr. Tim loves to write. He enjoys sci-fi movies and TV shows and has a love for basketball. Mr. Tim is married to a “beautiful queen,” with whom he has two super-cute, but super-bad terriers.
Biography by NET alum Renni
Jeromy Smith, Assistant Dean of Students
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela
Aside from being an historical enthusiast, Academic Dean Jeromy "Jay" Smith comes from an educational lineage where he inherited the passion for molding young minds! His inspiration for teaching stems from his mother who taught students for over 20 years. He is excited about being apart of The Net: CC family and looks forward to the great journey with our wonderful students!
Darryl Watkins, Lab Teacher
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!¨
Arlyndria Williams, Front Office Manager
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.¨
Ms. Arylndria, or "Pinkie" has a bachelors and masters degree in Social Work. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, as well as reading and eating different kinds of foods.
Jennie Wimbish, Science Teacher
"I am an avid believer in a free and appropriate education so I switched careers and became a teacher."
Ms. Jennie is originally from Clinton, MS but moved to New Orleans in 2004 upon graduating with a BA in history from the University of MS. Ms. Jennie realized she wanted to be an educator after she had her first child and started to research the quality of public schools in New Orleans. She decided to get her teaching certification in Chemistry through teachNOLA in 2012 and currently teaches biology and chemistry at the Central City campus. At present, she is working on completing her Master’s in Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Ms. Jennie expects her students to perform to the best of their ability, to attend regularly, and to continue to grow in their education from wherever they are starting. She has three daughters and enjoys SEC football, fishing, and listening to music.
Biography by NET student Dawn