Julie Lause

Julie Lause received a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an MA in English from Middlebury College, and an EdM in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.

Julie is the co-founder of Crescent City Schools and was the founding Principal of Harriet Tubman Charter School. Under her leadership, Harriet Tubman exited failing status and went from a grade of F to a grade of C (and School Performance Score of 55 to 77) in just two years. Since its takeover, Tubman has been recognized for advancing a positive school culture, supporting teacher growth and development, and achieving academic gains. To date, Tubman is the most successful turnaround school in the city of New Orleans with the highest value-add scores of any formerly failing school.  In 2016, Harriet Tubman implemented a Montessori program in its combined grade K-1-2 classrooms, using Montessori principles and rigorous standards-based curriculum to provide an innovative program for the families of Algiers. Harriet Tubman received the Achievement Network School Impact Award in 2012 and the OPEN (Orleans Public Education Network) Teachers First Award in 2014. In 2013, Julie and co-founder Kate Mehok received the Entrepreneur To Watch award from the New Schools Venture Fund.

Julie has taught and lead in New Orleans public, private, and charter schools for 25 years. She was the Dean of Faculty at New Orleans Summerbridge, taught math at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, and taught English and history at Metairie Park Country Day School, where she later became the school’s Director of Diversity and Assistant to the Head of School. In 2005, Julie was on the founding faculty at the KIPP transformation school in New Orleans that, after Hurricane Katrina, relocated to Houston, Texas to serve displaced New Orleans students. Julie was an assistant principal there at NOW College Prep, and went on to complete the Fisher Fellowship, founding KIPP Central City Academy in 2007. Julie served as Director of Organizational Development at FirstLine Schools, where she supported the growth and expansion of the organization and its K-8 charter schools. Working for New Schools for New Orleans, Julie coached new charter school principals on school leadership and raising student achievement.

Julie has been a panelist or presenter at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, NAIS People of Color Conference, the KIPP School Summit, and the Education Research Alliance’s Urban Education Future Conference. Her work has been published in English JournalTeaching Tolerance, and Independent School. Julie appeared on The New Orleans Charter School Revolution: Ten Years After Katrina with Roland Martin and was featured as a part of John Merrow’s 2015 documentary on the takeover of failing schools, Rebirth: New Orleans.  For the last five years, Julie has been an adjunct professor at the Relay Graduate School of Education in New Orleans in the area of Secondary English.

Over her career, Julie’s work has focused on bringing excellent educational experiences to the students in New Orleans who have had the fewest resources and the most limited choices. She loves her daily work of helping teachers build classrooms where joy, academic challenge, and justice thrive, as well as working toward the larger goal of ensuring that every child in New Orleans attends a great school. Julie frequently leads and consults in the areas of school turnaround, vision-setting and leadership, school culture, and adult management.

Since 1995 Julie has worked with the national organizations United to End Racism and Sustaining All Life, both grassroots organizations that work for racial and environmental justice. She teaches classes locally on using the tools of Re-Evaluation Counseling, using personal expression and listening to others to bring about personal and global change. She lives in New Orleans with her daughter and their six chickens.