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From left: Nicole Barry Dorn, '08, Justin Su '09, Melissa Hogg '08, and Cat Ng '08

Kellogg team wins Haas School’s Education Leadership Case Competition

Insights may contribute to rebuilding New Orleans education system

By Aubrey Henretty

2/28/2008 - A team of Kellogg students took home the top prize from the Education Leadership Case Competition at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

The four students — Nicole Barry Dorn, Melissa Hogg, Cat Ng (all ’08) and Justin Su ’09 — competed against teams from other top MBA programs at schools that included Stanford University and Duke University for a $3,000 cash prize and a $2,000 DonorsChoose gift certificate. [To read about DonorsChoose chairman Peter Bloom’s recent visit to Kellogg, click here.]

This year’s case, written by a group of Haas students, concerned strategies for rebuilding New Orleans’ public schools in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Now in its second year, the competition was held at the Haas School on Feb. 14 and 15.

“It was really challenging because it required us to develop not only a short-term plan for boosting student achievement, but also a long-term strategy for unifying the New Orleans school districts under one system,” said Kellogg team member Dorn. “We leveraged our experiences working in consulting and in education, and used many of the concepts we’ve learned here at Kellogg, to come up with a new district structure for [New Orleans Recovery School District] Superintendent [Paul] Vallas that emphasized both increased autonomy and accountability.”

Following the competition, a Berkeley ABC news affiliate quoted Recovery School District Information Officer Rayne Martin as saying: “I fully intend to take all their suggestions back to the Recovery School District and see what it is that we can do with them and hopefully contribute to the success of the students in New Orleans.”