Meet Our Board of Directors


Rev. Thomas B. Watson
Watson Teaching Memorial Ministries

Board Chair

Senior Pastor, Watson Teaching Memorial Ministries The Rev. Tom Watson has dedicated his life to public service as a pastor, community organizer and leader in the city of New Orleans. In 1988, Pastor Watson was ordained into ministry and assumed pastoral leadership on the same night. He serves as Senior Pastor of Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries (located in Uptown and Algiers). Pastor Watson started the Citywide Men’s Conference that featured a 1000 Men March that focused on developing the male seed, strengthening the family and crime prevention. In recent years, Pastor Watson has convened a Citywide Summit …


Ashana Bigard
Writer, Educator, Activist

Ashana is a 5th generation New Orleanian and lifelong resident of the Crescent City. As a mother of three, Ashana has been a powerful force for equity and social justice in Louisiana, especially in her work advocating for children and families in Louisiana. Ashana is a writer, educator, and activist who currently advocates and consults with EJP and FFLIC . In addition, she does facilitation work through Theater for Solidarity. Ashana is a fellow with magazine and also serves as a Community Faculty member with Tulane University’s Center for Public Service.


Thelma French
President & CEO, Total Community Action, Inc

Thelma Harris French is the President/CEO of Total Community Action, Inc., the city’s federally designated anti-poverty agency, and Head Start grantee. As a champion and advocate for early childhood development, quality and equitable education and employment opportunities, Mrs.  French serves as the Secretary of the Board of the Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN), and a member of the Steering Committee of the New Orleans Early Care & Education Network (NOEEN) and a board member of BENOLA.


Dr. Howard Fuller
Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning, Marquette University

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dr. Howard Fuller is a civil rights activist, education advocate, and academic. Dr. Howard Fuller’s career includes many years in both public service positions and the field of education. Dr. Fuller is a Distinguished Professor of Education, and Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The mission of the Institute is to support exemplary education options that transform learning for children, while empowering families, particularly low-income families, to choose the best options for their children.


Darryl Kilbert
Retired New Orleans Public Schools Superintendent 

Darryl Kilbert served as Superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools from 2006-2012. Before being elevated to superintendent, Kilbert worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and area superintendent since starting his career in 1979. He’s been praised by parents and students for his no-nonsense approach, most notably when he took the reins at Alcee Fortier High School in the mid 1990s and increased graduation rates, improved grades, and increased classroom attendance. After working as a principal at George Washington Carver High School in 2004, Kilbert was promoted to an area superintendent of schools…


Stacy Martin
Director of Community Affairs & Advocacy, Collegiate Academies

Stacy serves as the Director of Community Affairs & Advocacy  at Collegiate Academies. She previously held the position of Louisiana State Director with Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). New Orleans born and raised, Stacy brings deep knowledge of the city, its leaders, and influencers across Louisiana. She spent a decade in City Government and has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving our children.


Dr. Margaret Montgomery Richard
Principal, DMM Associates, LLC

Margaret Montgomery-Richard, Ph.D. is a principal of DMM & Associates, LLC a performance management consulting firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Montgomery-Richard was the first African-American and the only female to serve as the Chancellor of Louisiana Technical College: One college/40 campuses.  She is passionate for community engagement and outreach, has mentored several young men and women through Masters and PhD programs; some of whom are currently serving as Chancellor, Vice Presidents, Provost, and college and non-profit administrators, at various levels.


Bill Rouselle
President & CEO, Bright Moments, LLC

William “Bill” Rouselle was born in New Orleans on August 3, 1946.  His life challenge can be summed-up in the words of the poet, Mari Evans in her poem - SPEAK THE TRUTH TO THE PEOPLE.

His life in the media is rooted in a desire for the truth, a commitment to change, and a will to leave this world a better place. The son of a public school teacher, Bill grew up in Uptown New Orleans.  Nurtured by the rich New Orleans culture, he developed a love for his City, its…


Jonathan Wilson
Vice President Mortgage Services, Liberty Bank and Trust 

Jonathan Wilson is the Vice President of Mortgage Services at Liberty Bank and Trust Company in New Orleans, LA.  His varied career includes leading the business process reengineering of control systems for accounting, mortgage origination, and servicing. In his current role, he leads the overall mortgage operations including production planning, process work flow, customer service, online origination, mortgage accounting, and mortgage loan servicing.