- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2007

BOSTON (AP) — Houston Mayor Bill White and Doris Voitier, the head of schools in St. Bernard Parish, La., were named Monday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for their work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Houston welcomed hundreds of thousands of people who fled the Gulf Coast after the hurricane in 2005. The city matched evacuees with housing, jobs and education, and the mayor mobilized more than 100,000 residents to help.

Miss Voitier had been superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish public school system for a year when Katrina struck. She took out loans, secured portable classrooms and rented trailers for displaced teachers to reopen the schools.

The awards will be presented May 21 in Boston.

“Mayor White’s quick actions evacuating thousands of families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita most certainly helped to save lives,” said Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “Despite insurmountable odds, Doris Voitier rebuilt the schools of St. Bernard Parish, making sure the children of her community had a place to learn and grow when they returned home.”

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