GNO Collaborative Teachers

Benjamin Franklin High School Hires Alex Jarrell as New CEO

Date: February 23rd, 2024

NEW ORLEANS (Feb. 5, 2024) – Advocates for Academic Excellence in Education Inc., or AAEE, the governing board of Benjamin Franklin High School, is delighted to announce that Alex Jarrell will join the Benjamin Franklin High School community as chief executive officer effective March 18, 2024.

“We are eager to welcome Mr. Jarrell to the Ben Franklin family and extend him our full support as our new CEO,” said AAEE Board President Alea Cot. “We look forward to his leadership in shaping a new and vibrant chapter in the history of our incredible school.”

Jarrell currently serves as chief innovation officer at New Schools for New Orleans, where he leads the citywide school support strategy and was instrumental in securing federal Teacher and School Leader, or TSL, and SEED grants, bringing over $25 million to New Orleans to better recruit and retain teachers. He also co-founded the E3 Fellowship, which develops aspiring and new charter network leaders. Before that, he served as a teacher and principal at KIPP Central City.

Jarrell holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s degree in education entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.

Last spring, considering the scope of the job and skills required, as well as industry best practices, the AAEE board decided to restructure the head of school role and create two positions: a CEO and a principal. Following an extensive national search, the CEO Search Subcommittee of the AAEE board interviewed six semifinalists and brought two finalists to campus for a series of interviews with multiple stakeholders. Following feedback from students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni, and after thorough deliberation and vetting, the subcommittee made a recommendation to the board to extend an offer to Jarrell; the board affirmed this decision in a unanimous vote.

The AAEE board is grateful to the K12 Search Group for its collaboration over this two-year process that has led us to such an outstanding CEO and to the CEO Search Subcommittee, chaired by Charmaine Cooper Hussain, for its dedicated work on behalf of Benjamin Franklin High School. The board also extends its gratitude to assistant principals David Ferris and Donald Jackson for their leadership as interim co-heads of school during this period of transition.

One of Jarrell’s  first priorities, in conjunction with the board and other stakeholders, will be a focus on searching for and hiring a school principal.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Ben Franklin community,” Jarrell said. “The school is special and is an important pillar for the city of New Orleans. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the coming years.”

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