Allison El Koubi

Affiliation: Myrtle Place Elementary School
Presentation: Interest Session
Title: Chantons ensemble! How to create a meaningful connection between communities that share a common language and cultural heritage
Abstract: This bilingual session will focus on a cultural exchange between francophone communities in Cajun/Creole Louisiana and western Newfoundland. The session will include Louisiana choral repertoire and practical strategies for developing meaningful cultural connections, including building cultural awareness beforehand, experiences during the trip, and the benefits/challenges of students staying with host families.

Born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada, Allison Adams El Koubi moved to Louisiana in 2000 to begin teaching through Teach For America. She taught 8th grade English at Jackson Middle School (JMS) and 5th grade math at KIPP Central City Academy in New Orleans. In 2008, Allison returned to JMS to become the principal. In her first year back, she dramatically improved the school’s culture and significantly raised test scores giving JMS the most growth of any middle school in the state. Since she is bilingual, Allison was recruited to be the principal of Myrtle Place Elementary School because it is in the process of becoming fully French Immersion.

Allison grew up singing and traveling in choirs. As a teacher and principal, she wrote grants to bring poets, musicians, visual artists, and choreographers to work with her students. She has led many student trips to Newfoundland, New York, Washington DC, and Martinique.