New Orleans school briefs for March 21-27, 2013

Photo provided by Benjamin Franklin High School -- Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, to speak at Benjamin Franklin High School commencement
Photo provided by Benjamin Franklin High School -- Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, to speak at Benjamin Franklin High School commencement

Khan to address
Franklin class of ’13

Salman Khan, founder of The Khan Academy online tutorial program and a native of Metairie, will speak at Benjamin Franklin High School’s 53rd commencement May 21.

While working as a hedge fund analyst in 2004, Khan began tutoring his young cousin (who later became a Franklin student) in math, communicating by phone and using an interactive notepad.

When others expressed interest, he began posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. Demand took off, and in 2009 he quit his day job to commit himself fully to the not-for-profit Khan Academy.

“We are grateful to Mr. Khan for agreeing to address this year’s graduating class,” said Principal/CEO, Dr. Timothy Rusnak. “His approach to learning fosters a genuine sense of excellence in classrooms and resonates with the mission of Benjamin Franklin High School.”

Khan graduated from MIT in 1998 with two bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering/computer science and a master of science degree in electrical engineering. Later he attended Harvard Business School.

Khan was born in Metairie to immigrant parents from India and Bangladesh. He lives in Mountain View, Calif., with his wife and two children. His first book, “The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined,” was released in October 2012.

Mount Carmel
to hold fundraiser

Mount Carmel Academy’s 20th annual Spring Fling will be held Saturday at Place St. Charles, 201 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.

A patron party begins at 6:30 p.m., and the main event starts at 8 p.m.

The fling will be an evening of entertainment with music by The Yat Pak, live and silent auctions, cocktails, and dinner samples from some of New Orleans’ most popular restaurants. The theme of the evening is “A Toast to History.”

Call Mount Carmel Academy at (504) 288-7626 or visit http://www.mcacubs.org to purchase tickets. A single ticket to the main event is $50; two tickets to the patron party are $250.

Amazon expert to speak at Country Day

Ethno-botanist and president of the Amazon Conservation Team, Mark Plotkin, Ph.D., will present “Rainforest Conservation: Using Google Earth to Protect Invisible People while searching for new Jungle Medicine” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, in Weinmann Auditorium, Metairie Park Country Day School, 300 Park Road, Metairie.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Amazon Conservation Team’s primary mission is to protect the Amazonian rainforest in partnership with local indigenous peoples.

Plotkin completed his master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry and his Ph.D. at Tufts University.

His work is featured in the March 2013 of Harvard Magazine and on the cover of the March issue of Smithsonian magazine.

Military academy sets open house

The New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy will hold an open house for parents and prospective students in grades 9-11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at its temporary Westbank Campus in Federal City at 2000 Opelousas Ave., Building H-100, Algiers.

Interested parents are invited to tour the school and meet faculty and staff.

Parents unable to attend the open house are encouraged to contact the school for information and tours at (504) 227-3810.

NOCCA presents the musical ‘Carnival!’

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts’ musical theater students will show off their talents in the musical “Carnival!” today through Saturday at 7 p.m. with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lupin Hall on the NOCCA campus, 2800 Chartres St., New Orleans.

Premiering in 1961, this Merrill and Merritt musical is based on the 1950s film “Lili.” Audience members will be taken on a journey under the circus tents by the traveling troupe of “Carnival!”

Tickets are $15. For more information, call (504) 940.2854.

Mt. Carmel students volunteer time

On Feb. 21 and March 7, the Mount Carmel Academy junior class participated in Junior Days of Service. Students were divided among 12 nonprofit locations, where they volunteered their time and energy: St. Jude Community Center, St. Michael’s Special School, Audubon Zoo, The Edible Schoolyard, The Greenwalt Center, Second Harvesters Food Bank, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, LA-SPCA, Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare, Magnolia School and St. Rita Catholic School.

Students who were assigned to volunteer with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation got a sneak peek at the New Canal Lighthouse, which is scheduled to open for public tours on April 20. After the tour, students set out to gather information on the litter and debris around the lakefront for the foundation’s cleanup campaigns.

Haynes dominates
Jeff spring quiz bowl

The Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies Quiz Bowl Team won all its matches at the Jefferson Parish Spring Tournament Feb. 28.

Haynes defeated Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies by a score of 365 to 235.

Next, Haynes beat West Jefferson High School by a score of 510 to 65.

Finally Haynes defeated Grace King High School, 560 to 210.

The Haynes vs. King game will be televised on the JPPSS Channel 8.

Haynes team members are Mohammed Elaasar, Senthil Natarajan, Nowrin Chowdhury, Ahmad Razi, Daniel Jung, Kirk Hanson, Zilan Tarif, Younes Boulares, and Siddesh Ponnapakkam.