NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Orleans Parish School Board has selected Dr. Avis Williams as the district’s new superintendent, NOLA-PS announced on Wednesday afternoon.

With more than 20 years of experience in education, Williams is coming to New Orleans from Selma, Ala., where she currently serves as superintendent of Selma City Schools.

In 2020, Williams was selected as the Alabama Alliance of Black School Educators Superintendent of the Year and was a finalist for Alabama State Superintendent of the Year in 2019.

In addition to her career in education, Williams also prides herself in being an entrepreneur and a former U.S. Army sergeant.

Williams’ work in New Orleans will mark the first time in 181 years of school history that a woman will serve as the permanent superintendent for the district and the first time a Black woman has ever served in the position.

She will replace current Superintendent Henderson Lewis, Jr. when he steps down at the end of the school year.