Board Members


Ira H. Thomas Sr. – District 1 – View Map
Mr. Thomas is a retired New Orleans Police Lieutenant with 28 years of service. He served as Executive Administrator of Security and Investigations for New Orleans Public Schools from 2003 – 2005. He is currently the Chief of Police  for Southern University at New Orleans. He has two adult children Veronica, and Ira Jr., both graduates of McDonogh 35 High School. He is also a proud product of New Orleans Public Schools.  He attended Edwards Elementary, G.W. Carver Middle and a graduate of G.W. Carver High School. He earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Delgado Community College and a Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree from Loyola University.
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Cynthia Cade – District 2 – View Map
Mrs. Cade is the incumbent School Board Member of District 2. Mrs. Cade is a mother of one adult child. She resides in New Orleans East. She is recently matriculating at the University of New Orleans Master’s Program in Education. Mrs. Cade received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Cum Laude from Southern University. For twenty-four years she has been an educator and the Director and Administrator of Angel’s Academy Preschool & Infant Care Center.
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Sarah Usdin – Vice President, District 3 – View Map
Sarah Newell Usdin is the Founder and past-CEO of New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and developing the people, resources and environment necessary to achieve excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans.  NSNO directly launched/expanded charter schools, invested in recruitment/training for principals and teachers, and incubated quality support providers to serve schools citywide.  The positive changes in the New Orleans public school environment were validated by the award of a $33 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant  to NSNO and the RSD to turn around schools in New Orleans and Tennessee.Sarah’s entire professional career has been in public education.  In 1992, after teaching in Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship, she joined Teach for America and taught 5th grade for three years before becoming Teach for America’s Executive Director in Louisiana.  She went on to serve as a partner with The New Teacher Project (TNTP), working to recruit, train, and certify thousands of high-quality public school teachers.  Sarah is a member of the Pahara-Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network and was the recipient of The Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership.Usdin majored in religion and German at Colgate University and holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University. She represents District 3 on the Orleans Parish School Board.
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Leslie Ellison – District 4 - View Map
Leslie Ellison—District 4

Hon. Leslie Ellison represents the citizens of District 4 in New Orleans on the Orleans Parish School Board.

A strong visionary and passionate education leader, Ms. Ellison’s commitment to service rests in putting the needs of children and the community first. She has displayed astute prowess in these capacities for more than 20 years through legislative and policy advocacy on education reform as well as intergovernmental affairs at the local, state, national and international levels.
In addition to her service on the Orleans Parish School Board, Ms. Ellison is a member of various community, business and service organizations. She is owner and CEO of the Ellison Group, LLC and serves as administrator at Gideon Christian Fellowship International.
Ms. Ellison obtained a degree in business administration from Southern University at New Orleans. A graduate of Orleans public schools, she attended Paul B. Habans Elementary, Edna Karr and Oliver Perry Walker Senior High School, respectively. Ms. Ellison is a lifelong resident of the historic Tunisburg/McClendonville community in Algiers, Louisiana.
Ms. Ellison holds several leadership roles on OPSB’s committees. She presides as Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee as well as Chair of the Accountability Committee.

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Seth Bloom – District 5 – View Map
Mr. Bloom resides in the uptown area of New Orleans and works in downtown New Orleans in the warehouse district.  A native of Jacksonville, Florida he has lived in New Orleans for almost 10 years. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and family roots brought him to New Orleans and Loyola University Law School where he served on the Honor Board and received his J.D.  He runs a small law practice focusing in criminal defense and insurance litigation. Mr. Bloom is a two time alumni President of the New Orleans University of Florida alumni club and an activist for public education. He is a member of the American Bar Association, State of Louisiana Bar Association, Eastern District of Louisiana Federal Bar Association, Fifth Circuit Court of Federal Appeals, New Orleans Bar Association, Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, New Orleans Federal Bar Association (the largest federal bar association in the United States) and is on the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers New Orleans Federal Bar Association.  He is also a New Orleans Civil Sheriff Reserve Deputy and a notary public.
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Woody Koppel – District 6 – View Map
Woody Koppel, a native New Orleanian, attended Henry Allen, Jean Gordon, De La Salle and the University of the South at Sewanee, Tn., where he earned a B.A. in fine arts.
 Now a successful businessperson, Koppel was an award-winning teacher at James Lewis Elementary, who travelled as far as the Anna Freud Centre in England to learn strategies for teaching at-risk youth. He actively volunteers and is a board member of Boys Hope, Girls Hope. He is married and has a son.
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Nolan Marshall, Jr. – President, District 7View Map
Mr. Marshall bio coming soon.

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