Alumni Spotlights

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2015 Janice T. Sanchez, Zulu Queen Head (Matthew Hinton, The Advocate) Janice T. Sanchez

Many little girls dream of royalty, but few get the opportunity to experience it. In February, Dr. Janice T. Sanchez (BA Elementary Education 75) became one of those lucky few. Sanchez was named queen of the Zulu parade in which she would accompany husband Andrew "Pete" Shanchez Jr., the 100th king of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

Queen Sanchez, who grew up watching and trying to get coconuts at the Zulu parade, attended Booker T. Washington High School before earning her BA in Elementary Education at the University of New Orleans and her Ph.D. in mathematics and education at Southern University. Now an educator at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, she made use of multiple speaking engagements at local schools to emphasize the importance of education in improving one's quality of life.

King Sanchez, a Zulu member for 18 years, served as chairman of Zulu's Carnival activities for 10 years. Both Sanchez's have participated in past Zulu parades. Her favorite part of the experience always has been seeing the children’s faces, the queen said: “I’m all about the children.”

In addition to Mardi Gras and children, the couple, who live in the Lower 9th Ward, also share an interest in the future of their neighborhood. In 2012, they were recognized by the City Council for the Sanchez family’s “continuing commitment to redevelopment and revitalization of the 9th Ward neighborhood.” 

Source: For Zulu royalty, a nonstop schedule leading up to Mardi Gras, Mary Lou Atkinson, Feb. 18, 2015,


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