Louisiana Connections Academy, one of the largest K-12 public charter schools in the state with over 2100 students, will enter the 2016-2017 with Dr. Lonnie Luce, 47, as its Superintendent, announced Board Chair Wade Henderson.
Dr. Luce is recognized as one of the top public education leaders in Louisiana, having served as Superintendent of St. James Parish public schools for nine years and recognized as Louisiana State Superintendent of the Year (2014). He will begin the LACA job on July 1.
He takes over the top academically performing virtual charter school in the state and brings years of technological innovation from the St. James, Livingston, Baton Rouge and Orleans Parish public school systems, as well as the Greenville County, South Carolina School System.
All instruction at Louisiana Connections Academy is provided online, and open to students from every parish of the state.
““Dr. Luce’s experience in technology is superb and demonstrated,” said LACA Board Chair Wade Henderson. “Our desire as a charter school board, to reach our students as individuals and create individualized education, is shared by Dr. Luce.”
Added Board Secretary Gail Hawkes, “I have the highest respect for what Dr. Luce can do. When our high school degree program went online at LSU, I had the good fortune of working with him in several capacities.”
Louisiana Connections Academy was authorized as a statewide, completely virtual K-12 charter school five years ago by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and provides state certified, free public education over a student’s home computer. Teachers and administration staff are headquartered at the school’s main office at the Russell J. Henderson Building, 4664 Jamestown Avenue in Baton Rouge.
The school is directed by a seven-member, non-profit board which includes President Henderson, Secretary Hawkes, Treasurer Amy Phillips, and members Linda Holliday, Skip Gladney, Serge Razafindrakoto, Michael Howes.
Dr. Luce said, “I am excited and interested from multiple perspectives. The potential growth and opportunity to meet the needs of Louisiana children, especially in small rural areas that lack access to expanded public school programs, is interesting. I am being given the opportunity to reshape public education in this state in a way that uses state funds better and serves kids better.”
Dr. Luce created a regional virtual school while Superintendent of St. James Public School System. His school district consistently grew in the District Performance Score and as a state leader in technology, early childhood education, jumpstart career opportunities, college dual enrollment, and athletics, according to his peers. He initiated a one-to-one laptop program for all grades 2-12 in the parish, and modernized school facilities.
He received his Ph.D from Louisiana State University; has a Masters in Public Administration from LSU; and, received his Bachelors in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. He is an Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan and continues to serve in the rank of Commander.
“His experience has demonstrated team building, innovation, leadership and excellence,” said Chair Henderson.