by Yolanda Page
If there is no struggle, there is no progress – Frederick Douglass
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail – Ralph Waldo Emerson
These profound quotes, epitomize a profound woman, Ms. Janice Dupuy, Principal and Chief Executive Office of Audubon Charter School. During a recent email interview, Ms. Dupuy shared that the quotes are dear to her because they symbolize the values her parents instilled in her from an early age—hard work and success do not always go hand in hand, but if one continues trying, and never gives up on his/her dreams, goals can be accomplished. Dupuy is quite familiar with the idea of hard work and success not always going hand in hand. She became principal of Audubon in 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city; in 2006, she was named Chief Executive Officer, so the academic success the school has experienced post-Katrina has been under her leadership. Success, she acknowledges, that has been accomplished in less than adequate facilities but that is the result of faculty, staff and parents who have supported her through the “struggles”.
While Dupuy has been at Audubon for a little less than a decade, she has had a long and illustrious career in education; she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) and a Masters Plus 30 degree from Xavier University of Louisiana. She also has certifications as an elementary/secondary principal, parish/county supervisor; supervisor of student teachers, early childhood educator and teacher of the academically gifted. Dupuy shares that her parents, who were born in the 1930s when education was not readily available to African Americans in the rural south, inspired her to pursue education as a career. She also says her parents made educating their three daughters a priority; they made sure all of them finished college and they all earned master’s degrees or above.
Because of her personal experience and success, Dupuy knows how important education is in shaping a child’s future. For this reason, she says that seeing Audubon students grow, develop and experience success is the favorite part of her job. For example, she says that the students who were in Pk-3 when she arrived at Audubon in 2005 are now 7th graders with such bright futures ahead of them.
While Dupuy’s job as Principal and CEO keeps her quite busy, she does find time to relax. What many people do not know is that fishing is her preferred relaxation method. Her biggest catch is a 45-pound Jack Crevalle which she says took her 30 minutes to bring in . . . all by herself!
Dupuy encourages parents to support Audubon teachers because they have an important and difficult job. She says they are incredible people who put their hearts, souls, personal time and money into making Audubon the success that it is. Parents should let them know that they care and appreciate their contributions to the growth and development of their children.
Yolanda W. Page is Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dillard University; her daughter, Brooke, is an ACS kindergartener.