GNO Collaborative Teachers

Hynes Schools CEO Awarded Prestigious Palmes Académiques by the Consul General of France in Louisiana

Date: May 5th, 2023

Hynes Charter Schools CEO Michelle Douglas to be Awarded Prestigious Palmes Académiques by the Consul General of France in Louisiana

Douglas to receive award for contribution to French education, language and culture in Louisiana as one of the first French immersion programs in state

On May 4th, Hynes Charter Schools CEO Hynes Charter Schools CEO Dr. Michelle Douglas will be awarded the prestigious Palmes Académiques by the Consul General of France in Louisiana, Nathalie Beras. The ceremony will take place at the French Residence, Résidence de France 2406 Prytania street, à La Nouvelle-Orléans, LA 70130 on Thursday, May 4 at 5:30pm (The event is not open to the public, but members of the press are invited to attend)

“It is a great honor to receive the Palmes Académiques Award,” said Dr. Douglas. “Hynes was a pioneer of French immersion programs in the state and we are proud to partner with the Consulate General of France in the instruction of our students.”


Hynes is a Louisiana Department of Education World Language Certified School that offers a French Immersion program at its Lakeview and UNO Campuses for grades K-5th. Hynes was also recently recognized as a Label FrancEducation school, an official international accreditation granted to schools offering a French bilingual program and awarded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Agency for French Education Abroad. 

The Palmes Académiques annually recognizes those who have rendered eminent service to French education and have contributed actively to the prestige of French culture.

“We are very proud to present Michelle Douglas with the prestigious Ordre des Palmes Académiques that will recognize Dr. Douglas’ accomplishments in French education and bilingualism,” said Jacques BARAN, Cultural Attaché, Consulate General of France in New Orleans. “Dr. Douglas will be awarded this distinction, alongside two other incredible women who are dedicated to civil society and their educative communities, and who are working to maintain a healthy environment for future generations.”

Napoleon first created the Palmes Académiques as an honorary title to recognize members of the University in 1808.  The academic palms became a decoration in 1866, under Napoléon III, at which time the honor was also extended to non-teaching persons who had rendered illustrious service to French education. Thus, the academic palms is the oldest non-military French decoration.

Dr. Douglas will be given the award with two other recipients: Latoye Brown and Michelle Haj-Broussard.


Hynes offers a challenging academic curriculum that includes a progressive literacy program; gifted and talented courses, classes in art, instrumental music, vocal music, library, theater and physical education. Art and social-emotional learning are integrated throughout the curriculum. In addition, Hynes offers a French Immersion program at two campuses. Hynes is proud of the collaborative culture that it fosters with distributed leadership and shared decision-making. Hynes has identified five core elements that drive its success: 1.) student centered instruction, 2.) an inclusive and positive school culture, 3.) tailored enrichment opportunities for students, 4.) an invested and committed community and 5.) having a sustainable organization.

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