Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. has served as the superintendent of NOLA Public Schools since March 18, 2015, becoming one of the youngest and longest-tenured leaders in the 181-year history of public education in New Orleans. Superintendent Lewis oversaw the 2018 unification of public schools in New Orleans with those schools run by the state of Louisiana. NOLA-PS established an accountability framework that holds charter schools to high standards. Dr. Lewis led important work around equity that led to the renaming of 21 school buildings in 2021 to separate the school system of today from the dubious honors bestowed in the past to slaveholders and segregation sympathizers.
During his time as superintendent, he led NOLA-PS through the COVID-19 pandemic. That work has helped NOLA PS lead when it came to reopening schools with adequate technology, gaining access to COVID testing, and securing access to vaccines. Dr. Lewis also coordinated the addition of the COVID-19 Vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for students 5 and up. Before joining the District, Dr. Lewis worked for the Algiers Charter Schools Association for six years, serving as the founding principal at Algiers Technology Academy. He also taught for seven years at neighboring St. Bernard Parish Public Schools and represented District 9 on the St. Bernard Parish Public School Board for 11 years. He also served as superintendent in East Feliciana Parish before joining NOLA-PS.