Star Academy Summit: A National Educator Event with New Orleans Flavor


It’s autumn in New Orleans: the leaves are changing and hitching a ride on the cool breeze alongside the tune of a lone trumpet’s serenade. If you’ve never visited New Orleans in the fall, you should. And if you weren’t in the City this October, you really missed out: the Star Academy Summit hosted by NOLA Education was truly a standout gathering!

During the two-day event, educators from Arizona to South Carolina (and many states between) came together at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotels New Orleans to learn how to make their Star Academy programs and students shine even brighter. Speakers from leading programs across the country shared a variety of personal experiences and best practices as well, including:

  • Recruitment Excellence: N. Overstreet, Mobile, AL
  • Project Based Learning Best Practices: L. Howze & V. Lett, Mobile, AL; S. Robinson, Phoenix, AZ
  • Leadership Roundtable: J. Owens, Monck’s Corner, South Carolina
  • Successful Student Profile: B. Bateman, Pine Bluff, AR
  • Ace Project-Based Evaluations: D. Blair, Phoenix, AZ

Each speaker at the Summit presented their topics with passion and a heartfelt desire to encourage, support and connect with their Krewe of Astraea (NOLA’s client community) peers. The Krewe gladly accepted their feedback and often, you’d find educators gathered around these speakers for additional information or advice between sessions or before the next day’s programming began.

The 2022 Star Academy Summit wasn’t “all work and no play” however: the Krewe had a wonderful time of celebration and fun during the Krewe of Astraea awards ceremony, when attendees were honored for their number of years with the Star Academy program, and the after-hours networking event.

“The Summit was an amazing experience,” said Latarisha Howze, a Star Academy teacher and featured event speaker. “The collaboration and bonds that were formulated truly empowered and motivated the ‘Krewe!’”

The team at NOLA Education, who puts on the event annually, was equally thrilled with the event.

“This was our biggest and best Summit to date,” said John Alvendia, CEO of NOLA. “It was both educational and inspirational, an opportunity for Star educators to share their unique  experiences while getting pumped up about the collective difference the Star Academy Program and Krewe of Astraea are making in the lives of the next generation.”

The team at NOLA Education is already preparing for next year’s event, and they’re looking forward to keeping the positive momentum going.

“Events like the Star Academy Summit are an invaluable means of sharing knowledge and building relationships beyond the walls of each school,” said Alvendia. “This gathering builds understanding and confidence, and inspires our partners to lean into not just NOLA, but the entire Krewe of Astraea community to make their programs and skillsets even stronger.”

While the final details haven’t been solidified for the 2023 Star Academy Summit, there is one thing to know for certain: you’ll want to be there!

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