New Orleans, LA–Dick McCarthy, co-founder of Richard Grays Power Company (RGPC), recently rallied support to rebuild New Orleans oldest public school, Warren Easton Fundamental Senior High School, which was severely damaged in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
A past president of the 12th oldest Rotary Club in the world and the son of an Easton alumnus, McCarthy garnered the support of other rotary members to ensure the survival of the school.
Warren Easton’s reputation of academic excellence, high attendance, low dropout and high graduation rate were all factors that earned the school the National Blue Ribbon designation by the United States Department of Education. Located amidst a very poor city, Warren Easton has been one of the few inner city institutions to escape the wrath of a failing public school system. Built to educate 800 students, the pre-Katrina class had a bulging enrollment of 1,496 students but was still able to maintain one of the highest graduation rates for New Orleans’ public high schools.
Anticipating the challenge of getting students to return to New Orleans and Warren Easton, the school administration started a blog along with email blasts and was able to communicate with the entire graduating class now scattered throughout the country. All seniors returned to receive their diplomas as well as to be inducted into the school’s prestigious Hall of Fame. Also attending the ceremony was Dick McCarthy, representing the Rotary clubs, as an honorary guest.
The refurbished Warren Easton has over 500 students enrolled for this academic year, and anticipates being at full capacity by the time the school reopens on August 17.