Search for new education superintendent put on hold
Published 10:44 am Saturday, September 24, 2022
A motion to begin the process of filling the soon to be vacant seat of Superintendent of the Beauregard Parish School Board failed Tuesday afternoon after a 4-4 split vote by board members.
Board members David Vidrine, Cassie Henry, Wesley Taylor and Casey Jones voted in favor of the motion that would have begun advertising for the vacancy on Oct. 3, but board members Martha Jackson, Nikki Weldon, Ray Bowman and Garrett Greene voted in opposition.
Board members Darrin Manuel and Kathy Bruner were absent from the meeting.
Email newsletter signup
A lengthy discussion led up to the split vote that included comments from candidates in this November’s school board elections who objected to the present board selecting a superintendent that would then be expected to work with a new board.
Of the10 seats on the panel, five are being vacated by current board members who are not seeking re-elections.
District 3E candidate David Shirley told the board he believed it would be “foolish” to fill the position under such circumstances and insinuated that whomever the current board selected could face a near immediate termination.
“I really strongly encourage you not to move forward with trying to fill the position before a new board comes in so that the new board can have the opportunity to find a person that will match their vision. If you hire someone who does not match the new board’s vision, there will be a conflict immediately from day one,” Shirley stated.
Bryan Redler, district 3D candidate, supported Shirley’s statements.
“We want the new board to have a say in who they will basically be responsible for, and who will direct the future of the board,” Redler stated.
Based upon the timelines for advertising the position, board members would have been likely to fill the position in December if the motion had passed.
Tuesday’s special meeting was called after an unexpected announcement from Superintendent Timothy Cooley during the board’s Sept. 8 session. As Vidrine asked for a motion to adjourn, Cooley requested a moment to address board members and announced he would be retiring at the end of the year.
Cooley’s contract expires Dec. 31, and he had said he would remain on through Jan. 16 to assist the new superintendent in their transition.