Ms. Carelus is Ready to “Let the Good Times Roll” in Baton Rouge Facebook Twitter Email This Post Great Hearts Harveston June 22, 2023 Alicia Carelus began her career at Great Hearts one year ago as the Founding Director of Community Engagement at Great Hearts Harveston, the first Great Hearts Academy in Louisiana, set to open its doors to the families of Baton Rouge for the first time this fall. Carelus is transitioning from her current role into the Founding Dean of Students. “I am excited to have students in the building and for the school year to start,” said Carelus. She has been working with the founding team, which included herself, Head of School Sam Heisman, and Director of Campus Operations Kisha Johnson, from the beginning. “We have been working and building everything from the ground up and I cannot wait to see it all come together. While this foundational work has been rewarding, Carelus says she looks forward to interacting with students and families again. “I really have missed being in front of the students and teaching them what I love and forming those relationships with them. I am also really excited to get back into coaching soccer!” Carelus grew up in a family of five on Long Island in West Hempstead, New York. Her dad was born a raised in Haiti and then moved to this country in elementary school. Her mom was born and raised in Harlem. Her brother, Jarren, and sister, Megan, round out the Carelus family. She attended the University at Albany in upstate New York and received her B.A. in Spanish and Education. In her junior year of college, she was accepted into Teach for America as a part of the 2018 corps which brought her down to Louisiana. She attended Louisiana State University (LSU) for her MS in Child and Family Studies. During her two years in the corps, she taught Spanish and English in grades 9-12 at East Feliciana High School. She then went on to teach at Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School, where she taught Religion and Spanish in grades 10-12. At both schools she also enjoyed coaching soccer and track. “Growing up I was pretty shy. I had the same friends from pre-k all the way through high school. I had my family and friends that I consider family. It was always there,” she said. “But moving down here 5 years ago, it forced me to change. I had to push myself to experience discomfort and acclimate to a whole new city. I had to find my people and my passion. Now, I love talking to and meeting new people, trying new foods and activities, and I believe in myself a lot more. This city has changed me, and I will always be grateful for that.” Carelus is bilingual and as previously stated, has taught both English and Spanish at a high school level. “Spanish was always my favorite class to go to in middle and high school. I had some great teachers. So, when I went to college, I just knew that I wanted to expand my knowledge about the language. It was hard, but worth it.” She said she is now working on learning a third language. “It was hard to pick, but given where I live, French seemed appropriate.” “Baton Rouge is such a great city that is filled with wonderful students. Our kids here deserve the best” She was drawn to the unique curriculum that Great Hearts offered and had already made available to families in Arizona and Texas for years. When she first met Sam Heisman, he told her something that struck a chord in her soul. “We believe that an education for some, is an education for all,” he said. That’s when she knew she needed to be a part of Great Hearts Harveston in some way, shape, or form. Carelus says she is a huge football fan. “I love watching the Tigers play on Saturdays and the Saints play on Sundays! I also love going to our local markets, festivals, Mardi Gras parades, and attending my students’ sports games and school events.” Some of her favorite places to go in town are the Tiger Stadium and LSU Lakes, and some of her favorite places to eat in Baton Rouge are Chow Yum Phat, Elsie’s Plate and Pie, and Gov’t Taco. Also, anywhere in New Orleans. “New Orleans has a food and culture scene like no other city. From hearing local musicians playing the saxophone, eating authentic Cajun food, or seeing beautiful art pieces from local artists; it is a wonderful experience.” Great Hearts Harveston will open in August of 2023 in a newly built campus located in the master-planned community, The Preserve at Harveston, near Bluebonnet & Nicholson at 11801 Bluebonnet Blvd. They will serve grades K-7 in the opening year and plan to add a grade every year after until they are a full K-12 academy. They are now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Apply today at https://harveston.greatheartsamerica.org. Do you have a story or know of a story that you would like to see featured at Great Hearts? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.