Phyllis Landrieu, previous Orleans Faculty Board president dies

Jeanne A. Curley

Landrieu was the aunt of the former mayor and U.S. Senator and well-acknowledged as an advocate for early childhood education.

NEW ORLEANS — Phyllis Landrieu, a previous Orleans Parish School Board president and passionate advocate for early childhood schooling, died Saturday. She was 86.

Mrs. Landrieu’s late spouse Joseph was the brother of previous New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu. The mother of 10 small children, her nieces and nephews include previous Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and former Orleans Civil Court docket Choose Madeleine Landrieu.

Mrs. Landrieu served just one phrase on the Orleans Parish Faculty Board, from 2004 till 2008. Her election came just one yr just before Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures, which decimated the general public college technique and prompted a condition takeover of the city’s failing faculties. In spite of tough and normally contentious occasions, when Mrs. Landrieu still left office in 2008, she touted the board’s accomplishments.

“This board is running at the best level of enterprise proficiency that is essential. Which is a big accomplishment,” she stated in The Times-Picayune. “We took more than a procedure that was broadly corrupt, entirely inefficient and ineffective.”

Landrieu was elected to depict a district which involved areas of Uptown, Central City, the Garden District and the Central Organization District.

After leaving the faculty board, Mrs. Landrieu devoted herself to the bring about of early childhood education and learning. She co-launched the Early Childhood and Loved ones Learning Basis and served as the nonprofit group’s president and chief executive officer.

“The intention is to modify training in Louisiana without end,” Mrs. Landrieu reported of the project.

Its centerpiece was the Mahalia Jackson Early Childhood Center, a Central Town facility giving working day care, standard wellbeing care and early childhood schooling for as a lot of as 500 infants and pre-schoolers.

In a 2013 interview with New Orleans Magazine, Mrs. Landrieu described the origins of the basis, stating that way too a lot of New Orleans kids were being at-risk from infancy and failed in college mainly because of fundamental social and bodily wellbeing drawbacks.

“The superintendent of education and learning explained to me that what young children in our faculties deficiency in order to thrive is early childhood instruction,” she reported. “The next day I set about striving to acquire early childhood training in New Orleans, in the state and in the nation and I joined with a complete team of individuals, 250 some others, who decided that’s what was critical.”

In addition to serving the demands of youthful children, she also worked to aid abused and neglected little ones. She assisted build the Endeavor Pressure on Youngster Sexual Abuse, a group devoted to growing the reporting of child abuse. She was also a member of another equivalent group, Avoid Little one Abuse Louisiana, and president and main government officer of the Well being & Education and learning Alliance of Louisiana.

Mrs. Landrieu’s niece, Judge Madeleine Landrieu, dean of the Loyola University College of Legislation, named her a genuine leader in  the discipline of training.

“She was steadfast in her dedication to the wellness and protection of young children in our community,” explained Madeleine Landrieu. “She led us all to much better understand the worth of early childhood training.”

Whilst her campaign for faculty board was her initial run for general public business office, Mrs. Landrieu experienced labored in local politics behind the scenes for decades. She was a vital fundraiser and advisor for her brother-in-law, his small children and numerous other candidates.  

“We do extremely minimal politically that Phyllis isn’t involved in,” was how a single member of Moon Landrieu’s internal circle explained her part in a 1972 States-Merchandise report. The reporter centered on Mrs. Landrieu’s operate in a political arena which was dominated by guys at the time.

“I believe I have tested I can maintain my have with the adult males and which is why I’m accepted by them,” she was quoted in the short article. “At the very same time, they have to have individuals like me to do the ‘nitty gritty’ varieties of positions. Adult men like producing the conclusions but they normally never like undertaking the perform that will come in advance of the selections can be produced.”

In the 1970s, Mrs. Landrieu was the 1st lady to provide as president of the condition Democratic Central Committee. She was also a member of the Democratic Nationwide Committee and local delegate to the Democratic Countrywide Conference. She was also the very first girl to provide on the New Orleans Aviation Board.

Mrs. Landrieu also owned a general public relations business for several several years, with purchasers that included Tenet Health care and the New Orleans Global Airport.

Born Phyllis Ann Coldewy in Baltimore, Maryland, Mrs. Landrieu moved with her family to New Orleans in 1942. She graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican Higher College and attended Loyola College, where she achieved her upcoming spouse. She later attained a diploma in marketing and communication from the College of New Orleans. At age 70, she earned a master’s diploma in education from UNO as nicely.

In 2016, Loyola University awarded her an honorary degree for her function in education.

Other honors provided an Fantastic Community Provider Award from UNO, CityBusiness Girl of the Calendar year honors and nationwide awards for her assistance to abused and neglected little ones.

Her nearby civic involvement also involved serving on numerous boards and committees, such as the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the United Negro College or university Fund, New Orleans Navy League Board, Crescent Metropolis Peace Alliance and extra. She was a co-founder of the Residence of Ruth, an firm that serves homeless gals and these at hazard of homelessness.

Her partner died in 2016. The pair experienced been married for 62 many years. Two of her sons, Stephen and Scott, also preceded her in demise.

Survivors include 5 sons: Michael Landrieu, Gary Landrieu, David Landrieu, Kenneth Landrieu and Gregory Landrieu and a few daughters, Renee Landrieu, Joanne Curren and Judy Klein as properly as 18 grandchildren and 20 fantastic-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be said Wednesday, Oct. 14 at midday at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 631 Point out Avenue, New Orleans. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.

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