Superintendent Breaux’s contract renewed

Published 12:54 pm Sunday, March 29, 2015

Though it wasn’t by a unanimous vote, Bogalusa City Schools Superintendent Willie “Toni” Breaux said Thursday night she was thankful the Board voted to renew her contract for another two years.

Breaux’s contract was set to expire on June 30. The new performance-laden contract expires at midnight on June 30, 2017. Her minimum base salary is $95,000.

Board member Calvin Hymel cast the lone dissenting vote

With members in the audience, Breaux said she would do everything in her power over the next two years to improve test scores and get the school district rolling forward.

“I am immensely happy to be given another two years. Those of you who approved my contract, I thank you. Those of you who didn’t approve my contract, it’s OK,” Breaux said. “It’s a good feeling to know people in the school system wanted me. That was why I wanted to do this for another two years.”

Breaux is in her third year as superintendent.

“It took me two years to learn some things,” Breaux said. “Now that I am on the right path I’m going to work very hard to make this successful district.

Breaux thanked and recognized school administrators and staff for their efforts.

“My main interests are the students and teaching them how to get ahead in life,” Breaux said. “We’ve got to follow the plan. This is not an easy job because sometimes you’ve got to step on people’s toes.”

Breaux said following the plan will be key.

“I want to make a commitment for the next two years. We are designing a plan of action we will implement for our students that will lead them to success,” Breaux said. “It’s a team effort that involves administrators, supervisors, teachers, support personnel and students. I feel our students are as capable as at any other school. They just need to be nurtured and given the opportunity to learn.”

Breaux said she had no hard feelings toward Hymel.

“I would have liked 100 percent support, Even without one person’s vote, I still love him and I will work hard to make him proud.”

After the meeting, Hymel said he voted against the renewal for a simple reason.

“I just don’t think we needed to give her a two-year contract. I think one year would have been plenty and then look at the test scores,” Hymel said.

Board member the Rev. Raymond Mims congratulated Breaux on the renewal.

“There are none more passionate than you to see the system move forward,” Mims said. “I haven’t seen that in a few years.”

Board Vice President Paul Kates agreed.

“I believe she will move the system in the right direction,” Kates said.

Dr. Brad Williams said discipline in the district needs to be addressed.

“We are going to have to get better with discipline in the school system,” Williams said. “We’ve got to be consistent. A precedent has to be set with the kids.”

Board President Curtis Creel said he attended a National School Board Association Conference March 21-23 and heard various school problems that were similar to Bogalusa’s.

“Our problems are not unique,” Creel said. “Problems are pandemic everywhere. The national graduation rate is 82 percent, but ours is 55 percent, so we’ve got some ground to make up. The only way to accomplish that is by working together as a team.”

As the meeting began, Breaux addressed her and the Board’s concerns about John Gallaspy’s March 25 letter to the editor that appeared in the Daily News. Gallaspy questioned whether or not the Bogalusa City School’s request for a renewal of its 62.81 mills during the May 2 special election was actually a renewal or a new tax.

To be levied.

“The article by John Gallaspy is totally not true,” Breaux said. “He is stating it is a new tax. We are going to have to get out and vote ourselves. It’s strictly a renewal of a tax we already have.”

Gallaspy sits on the Board of Northshore Charter School. School Board members authorized a letter to the editor of its own to appear in The Daily News. (Editor’s note: The letter will appear in the Wednesday, April 1, edition.)

“When he tries to hurt us he hurts Northshore, too, because they get part of the tax,” Breaux said.

The School Board recognized the 2015 Support Employees of the Year. They included Denhamtown Elementary’s Patricia Collins, Bogalusa High School’s Michelle Douglas and Sue Gerald, Byrd Avenue Elementary’s Brenda Brown and Central Elementary’s Paria Jackson.

Regarding Child Nutrition Programs Supervisor Lorene Randazzo’s requests, the board approved the request to host the Summer Food Service Program for June and July 2015, granted permission to bid for frozen, processed foods, milk, bread, produce, kitchen supplies and large and small equipment for next school year, and granted permission to continue with the Community Eligibility Program to provide all students free breakfast and lunch.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of assistant football coaches Pat Lambert Sr. and Pat Lambert Jr. Lambert Sr. coached last season at Archbishop Hannan in Covington. Lambert Jr. coached at Pearl River, the same school where new BHS head coach David Roberts worked. They will assist Roberts during spring workouts. Lambert Sr. will teach physical education while Lambert Jr. will teach social studies.

Board members also accepted the resignation of Central Elementary paraprofessional Jill Evans.