The Louisiana Federation for Children is a project of the American Federation for Children and the AFC Growth Fund, dedicated to promoting educational choice by protecting, growing, and expanding scholarship programs for low and middle-income children.
Years before Louisiana’s post-Hurricane Katrina education reform movement and the establishment of the Louisiana Scholarship Program, a New Orleans businessman would ride through the public housing developments in the city. Ronald Briggs was convinced that at-risk, underserved kids were trapped, and the only way out was through education.
Briggs’ vision to help these children was further inspired by the late Rev. Harry Tompson, S.J., who opened The Good Shepherd Nativity Mission School in 2001. As a founding board member and now president of Good Shepherd Mission Network Inc., Briggs leads the school’s mission of educating low-income, urban youth in a setting where they can realize their fullest potential.
In 2008, Briggs joined a coalition of organizations to pass legislation that created the Student Scholarships for Education Excellence Program (now the Louisiana Scholarship Program) in New Orleans. Following the program’s statewide expansion in 2012, the Louisiana Scholarship Program now serves 7,000 students.
Ann Davis Duplessis is President of the Louisiana Federation for Children, a project of the American Federation for Children, where she partners with local and national policy leaders and lawmakers to promote and protect access to educational choice options, including the overwhelmingly popular Louisiana Scholarship Program.
Duplessis has more than 35 years in the financial services industry. Currently, she is Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, Marketing & Sales, and Strategic Planning for Liberty Bank and Trust Company. Liberty Bank is a $600+ million retail bank with offices in eight states. Duplessis also oversees the growth and profitability of Liberty Insurance, Inc., a subsidy of Liberty Bank and Trust.
In 2004 Duplessis was elected to the Louisiana Legislature as Senator for District 2, serving New Orleans East, Holy Cross, and the Lower Ninth Ward communities. During her time in office, while serving on the Senate Education Committee, Senator Duplessis fought successfully to expand educational options for Louisiana’s children by authoring and supporting numerous pieces of school choice legislation. Following Hurricane Katrina, Duplessis authored a bill which allowed the state to take over the majority of schools in Orleans Parish, which led to the thriving charter school movement in New Orleans. She also led the effort in the Louisiana Senate to pass HB 1347, that created the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program in New Orleans in 2008. Duplessis was instrumental in passing 57 major laws focused on education reform, early childhood K-12 education, pro-business initiatives, economic development and more.
Duplessis is an unwavering public servant, who currently serves on the board of the American Federation for Children, the Eastern New Orleans Hospital Service District, New Orleans Shelter for Women and Children, the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, and Delgado Foundation Board of Trustees. Previously, she served on the Board of Trustees for Louisiana State University and held the distinction of Chairman of the Board in 2013.
A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, she has been married to Virgil Duplessis for 34 years. They have three beautiful daughters, Brooks, Lindsey and Heather; and four perfect granddaughters, Camille, Sydney, Brooklyn, and Maleia.
Kelli Bottger brings a wealth of legislative and educational leadership experience to the educational choice movement in Louisiana.
As LFC’s Louisiana State Director, Bottger works closely with state legislators, community leaders and educators to ensure children from low-income families in Louisiana have access to a quality education.
Prior to joining LFC, Bottger served as government affairs and communications director for the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL), where she worked hand-in-hand with legislators, educators, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) members, community leaders and various elected officials to empower teachers and provide leadership opportunities for educators across Louisiana.
Bottger was instrumental in creating, funding and implementing STAND for Children and A+PEL’s Instructional All-Stars Program, which provided powerful training and development for dozens of Louisiana’s top educators.
During her nearly seven years in the classroom, Bottger specialized in teaching fourth grade math and science in Ascension Parish, where she also held numerous leadership roles, including acting as a mentor teacher and event organizer. Additionally, Bottger worked tirelessly on numerous committees to help improve textbook, technology, assessment and student conduct policies.
A veteran communicator, Paul Dauphin leads LFC’s communications activity in the state of Louisiana.
Previously, as president of Pierre Principle Communications, Dauphin directed messaging for the University of New Orleans’ College of Education and Human Development, when it became the first charter school management organization in Louisiana to assume control of a failing public school in 2004.
Dauphin also worked with numerous New Orleans charter schools and charter management organizations during a period of dramatic reform and growth following Hurricane Katrina.
Dauphin also served as communications director of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans, where he was responsible for internal and external communications, publications and community relations. In 2010, Dauphin was a communications consultant for Mitch Landrieu’s mayoral campaign in New Orleans.
As Louisiana Grassroots Coordinator, Tiffany Crawford leads the Louisiana Federation for Children’s community outreach activities in the New Orleans area. She is responsible for building relationships and promoting awareness of educational choice options with parents, students, schools and other stakeholders.
Crawford brings extensive experience and understanding of parent and community organizations. As president of the District 2 Community Enhancement Corporation, she partnered with public and private agencies on projects to improve the quality of life in Eastern New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward.
Crawford served as vice president of operations for the New Orleans Regional Business Park where she led the creation of the park’s association of merchants. She was also fiscal manager in the City of New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.
Education Organizations in Louisiana
The Louisiana Federation for Children is pleased to work with the following organizations that promote education reform: