In April of 2022, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) appointed Dr. Avis Williams as the first African-American woman to serve as the Superintendent of NOLA Public Schools, which has been around for 181 years. Dr. Williams is a veteran educator with more than 20 years of experience but was new to the New Orleans community and its 76 schools. In addition, Dr. Williams was charged with leading NOLA-PS that was still feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically related to the socioemotional health of students.
Nichols Strategies recognized the significance of Dr. Williams’ appointment and New Orleans’ moment in history, with three African-American women leading the city, to create a 100-day entry plan focused on the socioemotional health of students. In partnership with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Sheriff Susan Hutson, and Dr. Avis Williams, Nichols Strategies aggressive plan, NOLA CARES initiative built and enhanced the existing services and identified areas in which additional support could be created and provided through the new collaboration.
Dr. Avis Williams successfully introduced herself to the New Orleans and NOLA-PS community with a series of community meetings throughout the city, stakeholder engagement with partners related to NOLA CARES, earned media spots, social media posts and a culminating socioemotional fair in the Spring of 2023.
You can read more about the plan by clicking the image.
"I appreciate Nichols Strategies' willingness to listen, provide trusted counsel on so many topics, and their ability to act quickly to our communication needs."
"Their Bespoke style of communications and strategy is unparalleled, and their responsiveness to our needs at any time was unmatched. Without reservation, NS will provide your educational organization with an expert team of professionals who know their craft and how it applies to education."
"A hallmark of their partnership, the team from Nichols Strategies intentionally focused on deeply understanding SCUSD's community context in order to integrate existing district structures, tools, and systems that allowed for seamless implementation of a customized strategic communication plan."
"I think they have the ability to be a strategy partner. It's not like they have a menu and they say, do you want the number 6? It's a lot of back and forth, relational, conversational, exploratory conversations to see what underlies the issue or the opportunity that is available."
"The team is forward-thinking, has expertise in working with education leaders, and is viewed as thought leaders within the K-12 school and public relations community."