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This profile was last updated on 9/10/06  and contains information from public web pages.


Nicholson Elementary

Employment History

  • LSU


  • doctorate , educational leadership and research
Web References Times-Picayune Updates, 10 Sept 2006 [cached]
Jarvis became a principal at Nicholson Elementary, another struggling public school, now closed, in a rough neighborhood near downtown Baton Rouge.It was hardly the place where anyone would expect a middle-class suburbanite to send her children, but that's exactly what Jarvis did, driving Kristen and Garrett past the crack house across from the school each morning.
"I've always wanted to be in inner-city schools.I felt I needed to be there to be a voice for children ... and it's helped my children learn they can get along in any environment," she said of her decision to expose her children to the schoolhouse environment where she was making her stand as an administrator."The only way public education is ever going to be successful is for parents who are involved to keep their kids in those schools."
Meanwhile, she had begun working on her doctorate in educational leadership and research at LSU.
After the Legislature voted in November to put 107 of 128 New Orleans public schools in the Recovery District, Jarvis took over as superintendent, at an annual salary of $125,000.
Jarvis said she does not plan to spend much time in her office, but rather be in the schools as much as possible.Showing up at teacher training events like the one last week sets that tone, she said.
"I think they need to know that I'm out there, that I'm going to be in their schools and in their classrooms," she said.
Living away from home
Jarvis stays in different hotels around the French Quarter and the Central Business District during the week, returning to Baton Rouge for weekends with her family, but Keith Jarvis refused to call his wife a workaholic - or at least not a hopeless workaholic."I have been known a couple of times to sit in the car outside of a restaurant and say, ‘We're not getting out of the car until you put your Blackberry down,' " he said with a chuckle.
Whether Jarvis' tenure in charge of New Orleans schools proves longer than those of the many superintendents who have attempted to lead the troubled district in the past decade may hinge less on her performance than on the political fortunes of Gov.
But Jarvis sees New Orleans as more than just another entry on an increasingly impressive résumé."I'm committed to staying as long as I'm needed," Jarvis said.
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