The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Orleans Teacher Community Offers Events, Support, Recruitment, and More
In New Orleans, our schools, charter school networks, and the district work hard to provide the support teachers need, but at New Schools for New Orleans, we believe it’s not their job alone. For the past three and a half years, we’ve been proud to partner with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff Foundation to create the New Orleans Teacher Community, which aims to recruit more great teachers in New Orleans schools, and build an inclusive, supportive community that helps them stay in their roles.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that with a generous contribution of $1 million, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff Foundation have committed to supporting this community for the next five years. We are confident about the impact the renamed and expanded Allstate Sugar Bowl New Orleans Teacher Community will have in our city.
This partnership is crucial. New Orleans has phenomenal educators, but like many cities nationwide, we don’t have enough of them. We face a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, and too few young people are going into the work. When we recently surveyed over 1,500 educators, their reflections added context to this crisis: they say they feel isolated, devalued, and unsupported. Our partners at the Allstate Sugar Bowl are dedicated to changing that.
“New Orleans is blessed with a wonderful contingent of great, dedicated teachers,” said Jeff Hundley, the CEO of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “They provide an invaluable service to our community, they deserve to be celebrated, supported, and given the resources and tools they need to continue to be great educators,” said Name, of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl Teacher Community will continue to encompass diverse programs that support current teachers and welcome new ones into the fold. These include:
- Celebratory events, including the New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Awards (NOETA) Gala and NOLA Teacher Fest
- Practical support for educators, such as our student loan forgiveness webinars
- Support for NSNO’s “Grow Your Own” strategy, through which we work with local schools and preparation partners to help New Orleans’ own young people and school staff prepare for a career in teaching
- The New Orleans Teacher Job Board: the fastest, easiest way for educators to apply for roles across all NOLA Public Schools
The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Orleans Teacher Community hosts a number of celebratory events for teachers each year. Educators give so much to their students each day, and it’s important that we go above and beyond for them, too. We also know that when teachers feel valued and supported, they’re more likely to stay in the classroom. Last year, we launched two of the Teacher Community’s flagship events, the New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Awards Gala, which honors the teachers of the year from every school, and NOLA Teacher Fest, where we celebrate with educators in Champions Square. This year’s NOLA Teacher Fest has almost 3,000 educators set to attend. Allstate Sugar Bowl also invites educators to join them in a place of honor for their Allstate Sugar Bowl Parade and Game. We go all out for these events, because it’s what our teachers deserve.
Practical support for educators
Teachers are already carrying so much in the classroom–we want to make life easier for them however we can. That’s why the Allstate Sugar Bowl New Orleans Teacher Community gathers educators for events that provide helpful, everyday resources, like our webinars on student loan forgiveness. We also provide opportunities for teachers to connect with policymakers and share their thoughts directly about how New Orleans and Louisiana can become even better places to teach.
Support for NSNO’s “Grow Your Own” strategy
The Allstate Sugar Bowl supports New Orleans’ “Grow Your Own” programs – initiatives that work to prepare current New Orleans public school students and staff, like paraprofessionals, to be teachers. These initiatives are also funded by a federal SEED grant. The KIPP New Orleans Alumni Teaching Force, which prepares current students to be teachers, continues to support and train them through college, then guarantees them a job once they graduate. There’s also a powerful Grow Your Own program at Warren Easton Charter High School and new programs launching at McDonogh 35 Senior High School and Rooted School New Orleans. Reach University offers a bachelor’s degree and training to existing-school based staff, like paraprofessionals, who want to be classroom teachers. Our Grow Your Own partnerships also include collaboration with the fantastic Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency Program at Xavier University of Louisiana.
The New Orleans Teacher Job Board
The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Orleans Teacher Community also supports the New Orleans Teacher Job Board, which is the fastest, easiest way for educators to find the right school, and role, for them in New Orleans. When educators want a job in NOLA-Public Schools, they no longer have to search across multiple schools’ websites. They can view every listing in the city, or submit their resume to every school at once, allowing schools to reach out directly.
The site has already connected over 600 people to jobs in our schools. And we’ve had incredible feedback from teachers themselves.
“It was just so much easier to apply and see what open positions were available,” said Brandi Cole, who used NOTJB to find her role at KIPP Morial Primary. “It was a great hub of information with lots of people willing to help and answer questions.”
We believe these efforts are making an impact. Teacher retention increased by over five percentage points between the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years–the year the community launched.
Principals have told us they’re grateful.
“Recruiting and retaining quality, talented teachers is an ongoing issue many school leaders are facing,” said Xaviera Ingram, the principal at Lawrence D. Crocker School. “The investments being made in our teachers and resources, such as the New Orleans Teach Job Board, are helping us find and keep great teachers in our schools. Over the past year and a half there have been multiple opportunities for grants, teacher recognition, and retention efforts with NSNO. It is exciting to see a collective and intentional effort around honoring and championing their work.”
We need to keep up this momentum. We know that in order for every child to have a great education in our city, we need great educators. Those educators need and deserve our full support, care, and all the resources we can provide. The Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff Foundation are part of a powerful coalition of local and national funders who are fueling this work. They have demonstrated a powerful commitment with their $1 million investment in our educators, and over the next five years, we’ll make the most of it.