St. Lillian Academy was inspired by the work of Sr. M. Lillian McCormack, SSND, who founded St. Michael Special School in New Orleans, LA in 1965.  Sr. Lillian realized that children with learning difficulties were being overlooked and needed a place to be educated.

She changed the lives of many children and their families, and her work deeply moved Gary and Martha Solomon.  They knew they wanted to create the opportunity for other families, outside of New Orleans, to have similar opportunities.

In 2005, Gary and Martha realized that Baton Rouge needed a school for children with exceptionalities and barriers to education. They were connected with a small group of parents and a pediatric physical therapist who had been working together to create a new education opportunity for their children and the children of those they served. This group had knowledge and passion, and the Solomon Family generously provided the financial resources for everyone’s vision to become a reality. 

Together, the work of St. Lillian Academy began.  The team traveled across the country to identify best practices in education, and locally, partnered with McMains Children’s Developmental Center to determine the needs of Baton Rouge families.  Additional information was gathered through a survey conducted by the LSU Public Policy Research Center. Consistently, communication support and behavioral management were ranked at the top of participant’s lists.

As passion and resources were paired, and using the information gathered, God’s Gifts were allowed to flow and the model for St. Lillian Academy was developed.

Our school is founded on the Christian belief that all are created equally.

Our model is a holistic approach to the child, and family’s, well being. We bring together education, therapeutic intervention, and behavioral support in one place for one goal – Providing our students with the tools and support to access, and actively participate in, their education process.


Chanler Holden, Parent

Sandy Colvin, Parent

Elissa McKenzie, PT

Joy Pennington, M.A., CCC-SLP

Nicole Guest, M.A., CCC-SLP

Gary Solomon, Philanthropist

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