Meet the First Black Woman Superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools

Dr. Avis Williams

Dr. Avis Williams has become the first woman to be chosen to serve as the permanent Superintendent for the NOLA public school district for the first time in the 181 years of public education in New Orleans. She has previously served as the Superintendent of Selma City Schools in Selma, Alabama.

Dr. Williams is an award-winning, proven instructional leader with experience in innovative practices and strategic planning who has demonstrated an ability to increase student achievement in high poverty schools and improve community support as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools.

She comments, "I am honored, humbled, and thrilled by this new opportunity with OPSB. I look forward to working with the community to do important work for Every Child at Every School, Every Day. I can't wait to get started. My thanks to the OPSB for their trust & confidence. I'm excited to listen — to teachers, students, families, and the NOLA community — and translate what I learn into meaningful actions that I hope will touch lives and open doors for all of our scholars in the future."

According to the NOLA Public School District's blog, Dr. Williams started her professional career serving as a sergeant in the United States Army before becoming a teacher and physical education coach in Huntsville, Alabama; an English teacher and assistant principal in Salisbury, N.C.; a principal in Huntsville, an adjunct education college professor in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and the Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction in Greensboro, N.C.

These roles gave her the unique privilege of serving as an elementary, middle, and high school principal, as well as a college professor – giving her a full perspective of what it takes to lead at all levels.

She is is also an avid writer and the author of a children's book and has also authored numerous pieces for state and national education publications.

Follow her on Twitter @DrAvisW