During the banquet, we give out awards to honor those that are truly living out the meaning of LYS in their own lives and are making a difference in their community and world around them. Each year we award one of our most prestigious awards to a recipient whom we find is doing just that through the Roddy Richard Award.
Roddy Richard came to LYS from Teurlings Catholic High and joined Staff in 1983. Roddy was an exceptional young man whose life was taken in a tragic accident. To celebrate his life and honor his spirit, LYS created the Roddy Richard Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding individual whose character and purpose in life has lessened the burden of others and made their community a better place for their fellow man.
In honor of his memory, we select a Louisiana native who shows the same compassion and fervor as Roddy himself. We are very pleased to announce that this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Patrick Dobard.
Patrick Dobard is the CEO of New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a nonprofit organization committed to delivery on the promise of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans. NSNO serves the city as a strategic leader, accelerates the development of high-quality schools, and provides financial and advisory support to grow, connect, and sustain school support organizations.
Dobard served as the Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) from 2012 to 2017. In 2014, the New Orleans RSD became the nation’s first school district comprised entirely of charter schools. Under his leadership, the RSD made significant progress in transforming the most chronically low performing schools in Louisiana—nearly eliminating failing schools in New Orleans. Patrick helped design EnrollNOLA, the centralized enrollment system for New Orleans that provides families with equitable, transparent access to schools. Under his leadership, the RSD reduced expulsions through a common hearing office, passed an equitable school funding policy that takes the unique needs of each student into account, and progressed through the largest school construction project in the nation’s history. Dobard also led efforts to develop New Orleans Youth Opportunity Center to serve high-needs students at risk of dropping out and the Therapeutic Day Program, which serves students with severe behavioral health disabilities. Prior to leaving the RSD, Dobard, in collaboration with the Orleans Parish School Board, managed the process to unify New Orleans two school districts (RSD and OPSB).
Patrick is a native New Orleanian and career educator. He began his teaching career in his hometown after graduating from Southern University of New Orleans.