Board Member Focus: James "Jim" Raby
Jim Raby had no shortage of experience throughout his diverse career path. But even as an Officer in the United States Army, Sales Representative for Philip Morris, Underwriter for New York Life Insurance Company, and Coordinator with the New Orleans Public Schools Adult Education Center, he never forgot the experience he had as a student at Walter L. Cohen High School that helped pave his way.
“My successes in life were influenced and accomplished because of the efforts, work and sacrifices of many individuals,” said Mr. Raby. “Many of these persons were educators. After retiring, I acknowledged that I have a responsibility to the present and future generations of Cohen students to specifically ensure they have access to the same academic excellence I enjoyed as a student.”
Mr. Raby was elected to serve as the President of The Walter L. Cohen Alumni Association (WLCAA) in August 2009. At the time, Cohen was a failing school and the school’s future was in question. In an effort to turnaround the struggling school, the Cohen Alumni Association partnered with New Orleans College Preparatory Academies (NOCP) to manage Cohen.
In only its first year of operation, Cohen College Prep High School (CCPHS) performed in the top 4 open-enrollment high schools in the city, based on the percentage of students scoring “Good” or “Excellent” on the state End-of-Course (EOC) exams.
Mr. Raby now serves on the NOCP Board of Directors and Cohen is in its third year of operation as Cohen College Prep High School, serving 285 students and continuing to make strong academic gains. “CCPHS is both NOCP’s most recent and most successful expansion effort," said Mr. Raby. “We will not be satisfied until Cohen is the top performing public high school in the City of New Orleans.”
New Orleans College Preparatory Academies is a network of four schools including Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep, Sylvanie Williams College Prep Elementary, Cohen College Prep Middle School and Cohen College Prep High School. The mission of New Orleans College Prep is to prepare each of its students to enter and excel in a rigorous 4-year college or university.
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