2020 Louisiana Principal of theYear

P Jennifer Dennis Carey.jpg

Jennifer dennis carey

kipp East Community, orleans parish

Jenny Carey is the School Leader of KIPP East Community Primary in New Orleans, LA. She founded KIPP East in 2014, starting with a team of 10 dedicated educators, 100 kindergarten students, and all of their wonderful families. Under her leadership, the staff has grown to a team of 60, and the school now serves approximately 560 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade. Last year, KIPP East’s first year to participate in state testing, LEAP 2025 results placed the school in the top 10 elementary schools in New Orleans, including selective enrollment schools. KIPP Wast was also recognized as a top-performing high property school, meaning the school scored in theta 20 percent of Louisiana schools that serve a population of greater than 75 percent economically disadvantaged students.

Before founding KIPP East, Carey served as the assistant principal of the 5th and 6th grade Lower Academy at KIPP Central City Academy. She began working with KIPP New Orleans twelve years ago as a 5th grade reading teacher, compelled to become a part of the statewide change that was occurring the in city. Previously, she worked for Teach for America and taught 2nd grade in the South Bronx in New York City. Carey received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory University in Atlanta and a Master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in New York City.

Jenny is not only the principal of KIPP East, but she is also a proud parent, as her son is going into the 1st grade at KIPP East this fall and her 3-year-old daughter is just a few years away from becoming a “kippster”!

Educators play one of the most important roles in our country—-truly shaping our next generation. We have an unbelievable responsibility to deliver on the promises we make to families and kids. We must continue to elevate our profession, work hard to keep our best people in front of our children, and commit to the difficult, but rewarding challenge
of educating our youth.
— Jennifer Dennis Carey


  • Brad Soileau, Allen Parish, FINALIST

  • Carli Francois, Ascension Parish, 2020 Louisiana State High School Principal of the Year

  • Nancy Rousseau, Assumption Parish

  • Steven Schulz, Beauregard Parish, FINALIST

  • Lisa Burns, Bossier Parish, 2020 Louisiana State Elementary School Principal of the Year

  • Michael Ilgenfritz, Caddo Paish

  • Dr. Christella Dawson, City of Monroe School District, FINALIST

  • Catasha Edwards, East Baton Rouge Parish

  • Wilbert Gilbeaux, Jefferson Davis Parish

  • Terrah Everette-Harrison, Jefferson Parish

  • Jeffrey Debetaz, Lafayette Parish

  • Rusty Farrar, Lincoln Parish

  • Greg Hayden, Livingston Parish, FINALIST

  • Charles Wright, Ouachita Parish, FINALIST

  • Becky Pippen, Rapides Parish

  • Jennifer Dennis Carey, KIPP New Orleans, 2020 LOUISIANA STATE PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR

  • Tene’ Leach, Sabine Parish

  • Tamika Green, St. Charles Parish, 2020 Louisiana State Middle School Principal of the Year

  • Tiffany Francis, St. Martin Parish

  • Christopher Oufnac, St. Tammany Parish

  • Ronald J. Foret, Terrebonne Parish

  • Anthony Cain, Union Parish

  • Jessica Major, West Baton Rouge Parlish

  • Penny Hale, West Carroll Parish

The Principal of the Year Process

The process for selecting a Louisiana Principal of the Year begins at the local level. Each school within every public or public charter school district is eligible to select a Principal of the Year subject to their own selection criteria. Those individual local school nominations are sent to the District level for further review and consideration.

Each District Superintendent or public charter school District may select three outstanding teachers to forward to the State Department of Education for competition at the state level. Of the three District nominations, there will be one elementary, one middle school, and one high school principal selected.

The Louisiana Department of Education continues a review and evaluation of all District candidates submitted. To learn more about the Principal of the Year selection process, contact LDOE at louisianabelieves.com/teaching/award-programs. Questions regarding the selection process or on-line applications should be directed to the department.

The 2020 Louisiana Principal of the Year will be announced at the 2019 Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala to be held on July 19, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.  This event is dedicated to recognizing and honoring Louisiana’s outstanding principals, and is jointly sponsored by Dream Teachers, the Louisiana Department of Education, and the Louisiana Association of Principals.