Julie Lause
Co-Founder and Chief of Schools, Crescent City Schools
Joined the Team in 2010

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 and the Chief of Schools at Crescent City Schools, where she works to support principals as they pursue excellence for their scholars. Prior to her current role, Julie was Principal of Harriet Tubman Charter School and led the turnaround of the school in 2011 under Crescent City Schools. 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 consistently achieving an A for student academic growth. In 2018, Harriet Tubman expanded its school to 1000 students by welcoming students from two nearby failing schools. That year, students coming from failing schools made A level growth.  

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 families in Algiers. In 2019, Tubman purchased the 11 acre St. Julien site behind Behrman park for its preK through 2nd grade Montessori campus. Under Julie’s leadership, CCS launched the Aurora program in 2016, and in 2019 built its campus with capacity for 40 students needing an alternative setting. 

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 led 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. 

In addition, 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 Journal, Teaching Tolerance, and Independent School, and she was an adjunct professor at the Relay Graduate School of Education in New Orleans in the area of Secondary English. 

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. 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.