The Communities In Schools of the Gulf South Story
Communities In Schools (CIS) of the Gulf South, was established in 1996 as Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans. Communities In Schools of the Gulf South is an affiliate of Communities In Schools, a national nonprofit founded by Bill Milliken over 40 years ago.
Bill came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools where they are accessible, coordinated, and accountable. Bill once said:
“It’s relationships, not programs, that change children."
He continued, "a great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.”
Following in the footsteps of Bill Milliken, a group of committed local volunteers including Margaret Wall, Claire Stahel, and the late Frances “Frankie” Wittenberg brought the national Communities In Schools model to New Orleans. Since 1996, CIS Gulf South has grown from serving students at one school to serving over 7,000 students across Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
In the spring of 2018, Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans changed its name to Communities In Schools of the Gulf South to reflect the growing needs of the broader community and to serve more students in our growing region. CIS Gulf South is continuing to expand and serve more students and families in the Greater New Orleans area, and will also begin serving students and families in Capital Area, Central Louisiana, and Acadiana in the near future.
Central Office Staff
Brittney Thomas, LPC
Director of Student Services &
AmeriCorps Program Director
Elementary and Middle School Staff
High School Staff
Ali Bustamante, Ph.D
Louisiana Workforce Commission
Davillier Law Group, LLC
Elizabeth Rhodes, Ed.D
Missy Sparks, Ph.D
Asst. VP for Talent Management
Ochsner Health Systems
Suthon Solutions, Inc.
Danielle Wright, Ph.D
U.S. Department of the Interior
Amanda Schroeder, LPC-S
Communities In Schools of the Gulf South