Benjamin Franklin High School

Head of School

Dr. Patrick Widhalm has been appointed as Benjamin Franklin High School’s Head of School. The national search for a new Head of School was conducted with the assistance of Educational Directives, Inc. at the request of the governing board, Advocates for Academic Excellence in Education, Inc. (AAEE). Dr. Widhalm was selected by unanimous vote.

Dr. Widhalm has served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches, Louisiana, since 2001. Prior appointments include the Conservatory of Music at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and founding Dean of Arts and Academics at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville.

Dr. Widhalm earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, his Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music from the University of North Texas and additional degrees and certifications from the Ravel Academie (France), and Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria.

In 2008, Dr. Widhalm was selected to lead the Louisiana team participating in the Education Leaders Institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in Chicago. In October 2009, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Louisiana Culture Award for Education. He has served as a member of Leadership Louisiana, Council for a Better Louisiana, been appointed to the State Arts Council, and served as president of the Natchitoches Rotary Club.

Dr. Widhalm was attracted to Franklin due to the school’s consistently strong reputation for academic excellence. “What I saw during the interview process really sold me. There is the heart of a great school: a highly qualified faculty and staff working with bright and motivated students for academic and personal growth. I am honored and excited to be joining and working with the Franklin community,” says Widhalm.

Effective July 1, 2016, Dr. Widhalm will serve as Benjamin Franklin High School's Head of School.

Public Records Requests
The link below connects to the person responsible for Public Records Requests (​ Otherwise, please mail or deliver requests to
Dr. Patrick Widhalm, 2001 Leon C. Simon Dr., New Orleans, LA 70122
Dr. Patrick Widhalm