JPPSS Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a great time to highlight notable figures in African-American history and the JPPSS schools that bear their names.

The “Rillieux” in Cherbonnier/ Rillieux Elementary in Waggaman is Norbert Rillieux, Creole American inventor and engineer. He is most noted for his invention of the multiple-effect evaporator, an energy-efficient means of evaporating water.

Granville T. Woods Elementary in Kenner is named for Granville Tailer Woods, an inventor who held more than 50 patents. He is also the first African-American noted as a mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War.

Judge Lionel Collins Elementary, formerly Ames Montessori, is named for the first African-American elected to public office in Jefferson Parish.  He became the first black lawyer working on the West Bank, and eventually served as a judge in the 24th Judicial District in Gretna.

Cuillier Career Center in Marrero is named for Joseph Cuillier, Sr. former principal of Lincoln High School in Westwego.  He later served as a central office supervisor and taught adult education in Jefferson Parish.  Upon his retirement from the school system, Mr. Cuillier served as officer and supervisor at the Louisiana Training Institute (LTI) and as a deputy sheriff.

Fredrick Douglass Academy for Career Preparation housed at John Ehret High School in Marrero, is named for one of the most well-known figures in African American history.  Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing.

For more ways to celebrate Black History Month in the greater New Orleans area, check out these two events:

WWII Museum – African Americans in WWII Artifacts Display (January 20 – February 28, 2012)
In this special display, the Museum will exhibit a small selection of artifacts that represent the breadth of the African American experience in WWII.  Learn more here:

Black History Month at Audubon (February)
Throughout the month of February, visitors ages 5-17 at the Aquarium, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and the Zoo can take part in a Black History Month Scavenger Hunt. Participants are challenged to seek out interesting facts about African American environmentalists, scientists and zoologists. Scavenger hunt sheets are available at each attraction. Those who submit a completed Black History scavenger hunt sheet are eligible for a drawing to win a FREE Audubon family membership.