Marion Abramson High School

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Marion Abramson High School was a high school in the New Orleans East area of New Orleans, United States.[1][2] The former Abramson campus is adjacent to Sarah T. Reed Elementary School.[3] The school was operated by New Orleans Public Schools.

It was named after Marion Pfeifer Abramson (August 29, 1905 – November 30, 1965), the creator of the educational television station WYES.[4]


In 2002 it was the largest high school in New Orleans. As of that year it was opening an academy for first year students (freshmen). The 9th graders were clustered on the first floor in two hallways. The school organized teams of 9th grade students named after Kwanzaa groups. In addition, Abramson had career academies in culinary arts and travel and tourism.[5]

In the pre-Hurricane Katrina period, several years before 2010, The Times-Picayune published an anecdote stating that students at Abramson did not use their school bathrooms due to the poor conditions and instead traveled to a Taco Bell between classes in order to use the bathrooms there.[6][7] The final year of operation of Abramson High was 2005.[8]

Hurricane Katrina and closure[edit]

As Hurricane Katrina was about to hit land, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) designated Abramson as a place where people could receive transportation to the Louisiana Superdome, a shelter of last resort.[9]

According to an article in ESPN, in 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, the school gymnasium was being used as an assembly point for New Orleans evacuees, and that some evacuees died when flood waters from the levee failure disaster entered the gymnasium.[10] A journalist from Libération, a newspaper in France, was told that 1,200 people drowned at Abramson High. Gary Younge of The Guardian said "Nobody at the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the New Orleans police force has been able to verify that."[11] Gwen Filosa and Trymaine Lee of The Times-Picayune stated "Contradicting rumors that hundreds of evacuees poured into the school for shelter, only to meet a watery grave, a stroll through the school on Monday revealed no corpses."[12] The levee failure disaster destroyed the school facility.[13] Filosa and Lee said "Abramson High, like much of the east, was a swampy mess filled with sludge — and eerie remnants of daily life before the hurricane."[12]

Abramson Science and Technology School under construction on the site of the former Marion Abramson High School.

The Abramson Science and Technology School opened on the property of the former Marion Abramson High School.[14] The new charter school opened in a set of trailers on the site of the former Abramson building.[8] In 2010 Sci Academy (New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy) moved to a group of modular buildings at the Abramson site from another group of modular buildings[15]


In 2005, its final year of operation, it had a school performance score of 31.2 from the State of Louisiana. Andrew Vanacore of The Times-Picayune said that a 31.2 was far below what the state considered to be "academically acceptable" and that "Like many high schools before Hurricane Katrina, the old Abramson had struggled academically".[8]

Student publications included the Dispatch school newspaper and the Ship’s Log yearbook.

Notable alumni[edit]

Glenn H. "Smooth" Boyd (Basketball Player, Author) was the only basketball player elected to the Abramson Athletics Hall Of Fame in 2001. Boyd was a two time all metro basketball standout. After graduating from Dillard University in New Orleans, Boyd returned to Abramson as an English teacher and boys Basketball coach from 1995 to 2005 when Hurricane Katrina closed the school.

  • Chelsea Hayes (Track and field athlete)[16]
  • Eric Timmons (Freak Nasty) - Eric's entire High School years at Abe were spent in the classroom and on the field for track and football. Eric would go on to record the hit, "Da' Dip," and now resides in Atlanta as the founder of Hard Hood Records.[17]
  • Carldell Johnson (Basketball player) - Attended John F. Kennedy High School and transferred to Abramson for his fourth (senior) year of high school.[18]
  • Jacoby Jones (American football player) - Attended St. Augustine High School and transferred to Abramson.[19]
  • Lil Wayne (Rapper) - Began attending Abramson after attending McMain Secondary School for two years[20]
  • Kirk Carter (Screenplay Writer) - Attended Abramson from 1972 through graduation 1976.[21]
  • Toni Sims (Writer and Published Journalist) - Attended Abramson from 2001 through graduation 2004.[21]
  • Ike Taylor (American Football Player) He attended Marion Abramson Senior High School in New Orleans where he played football and basketball. In high school, he played running back, defensive end, cornerback and placekicker.

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ Capochino, April. "Parents: Eastern New Orleans schools overlooked in recovery efforts." New Orleans CityBusiness. June 19, 2006. News. Retrieved on March 17, 2013. Available at LexisNexis. "They visited Marion Abramson High School in eastern New Orleans, Benjamin Banneker Elementary School Uptown and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in[...]"
  2. ^ a b "Where Are [t]hey Now - Terrence Jones Jones Makes Mark As Tulane QB." CBS College Sports. November 2, 2004. Retrieved on March 17, 2013. "As he stands at the blackboard of his freshman English class at Marion Abramson Senior High School in New Orleans East, all eyes are on first-year teacher Terrence Jones as he explains how to diagram sentences, interpret poetry and understand classic literature."
  3. ^ "RSD TO HOST MEETINGS FOR PARENTS OF ABRAMSON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CHARTER SCHOOL STUDENTS." (Archive) Louisiana Department of Education. July 18, 2011. Retrieved on March 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Thackeray, William Makepeace. "Who was Marion Abramson and why was there a high school named after her?" (Archive) Gambit Weekly. December 4, 2007. Retrieved on March 17, 2013.
  5. ^ Kamerick, Megan. "Seven area schools create academies for Freshmen." New Orleans CityBusiness. Monday April 1, 2002. Retrieved on March 17, 2013. Available on LexisNexis. "At Marion Abramson High School, the largest in Orleans Parish, Principal Joseph Murray is hopeful the recent round of testing will prove what his staff is seeing: Students in these smaller groups are more focused and the environment is more conducive to learning." and "Abramson already had career academies in travel and tourism, as well as culinary arts. It added another in finance this year and plans to add one in leadership. It's another way of organizing the large school into smaller, less chaotic units. The Abramson ninth graders are separated into two hallways on the first floor and the teams of students are named after Kwanzaa groups."
  6. ^ Grace, Stephanie. "In Katrina recovery, signs of a former life: Stephanie Grace." The Times-Picayune. Thursday August 26, 2010. Retrieved on March 18, 2013. "Some years earlier this newspaper had documented deplorable conditions at several campuses — no stall doors, graffiti, the stink of urine, toilets clogged with sanitary supplies and toilet paper rolls — and published a telling anecdote about how students at Abramson High would head out to Taco Bell between classes to take care of business."
  7. ^ Weiss, Joanna. "After the flood The city that was." Boston Globe. September 4, 2005. Ideas E1. Retrieved on March 18, 2013. Available at HighBeam. Alternate pay link. "The newspaper covered schools that were literally crumbling; at one city high school, students were crossing the street to use the bathrooms at a Taco Bell."
  8. ^ a b c Vanacore, Andrew. "Records show glaring faults at school with ties to Turkish charter network." The Times-Picayune. July 15, 2011. Retrieved on March 17, 2013.
  9. ^ Nolan, Bruce. "KATRINA TAKES AIM." The Times-Picayune. Sunday August 28, 2005. Retrieved on March 18, 2013.
  10. ^ Wojciechowski, Gene. "Auburn's Horton finds shelter from the storm." ESPN. September 13, 2005. Retrieved on March 17, 2013. "Four days later, only minutes before midnight, Horton's cell phone began to ring again. Those same hellish waters of Hurricane Katrina had surged into the gymnasium of New Orleans' Marion Abramson High School, which was being used as an assembly point for evacuees, and created another watery tomb. This time it was Horton's younger brothers, Jerry and Delorean, who lost their lives. "My old high school," says Horton, sitting on a love seat in the office of Auburn team chaplain Chette Williams. "The water thing was so bad, they said once they opened the door, water came rushing in. It was probably 11:58 when I found out. The funny thing about that is after I found that out, at 12:01 my phone alarm went off to let me know it was game day and that was also my little brother's birthday.""
  11. ^ Younge, Gary. "Murder and rape - fact or fiction?" The Guardian. Monday September 5, 2005. Retrieved on March 18, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Filosa, Gwen and Trymaine Lee. "Some of eastern N.O. still underwater." (Archive) The Times-Picayune. Tuesday September 13, 2005. A-13. Retrieved on March 18, 2013.
  13. ^ Borden, Sam. "For the Ravens’ Jones, a Trip Home and 2 Trips Into the End Zone." The New York Times. February 4, 2013. Retrieved on March 17, 2013. "Jones grew up in New Orleans East and attended Abramson High School, but his family’s house and his high school were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina."
  14. ^ Stewart, Marilyn (Contributing Writer). "Sixth-grader at Abramson wins state science fair." The Times-Picayune. April 21, 2011. Retrieved on March 17, 2013.
  15. ^ Chang, Cindy. "Sci Academy a bright spot in New Orleans school landscape." Times Picayune. Sunday November 7, 2010. Retrieved on August 3, 2012. Alternate, Archive
  16. ^ Guillot, Gene. "Abramson's Chelsea Hayes makes U.S. Olympic team in long jump." The Times-Picayune. Sunday July 1, 2012. Retrieved on March 17, 2013.
  17. ^ Sevin, Arthur. "Freak Nasty
  18. ^ Reid, John (21 December 2011). "Guard Carldell 'Squeaky' Johnson hoping his long journey ends at home with the New Orleans Hornets". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 27 December 2011. "Johnson grew up in eastern New Orleans and played at Kennedy High School before transferring to Abramson for his senior year."
  19. ^ Terrell, Katherine. "Abramson graduate Jacoby Jones made the most of his chance in stunning Ravens' victory." The Times-Picayune. January 15, 2013. Retrieved on March 17, 2013.
  20. ^ Montoya, Maria C. and Keith Spera (music writer). "Lil Wayne goes back to school (story and video)." New Orleans Times Picayune. Saturday February 23, 2008. Retrieved on March 16, 2013.
  21. ^ a b Bellanger

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°1′49″N 89°57′59″W / 30.03028°N 89.96639°W / 30.03028; -89.96639