Ranolviaun Landry was approved as the new Central Middle chief. She succeeds Wendell Prudhomme, who resigned to take a post at Rayne High.
Ms. Landry taught in Eunice for about 20 years, then became an instructional specialist in the system.
Chosen from among seven applicants, she expressed gratitude for the opportunity and that she looks forward to returning to Eunice.
Later, as it considered a report from the Personnel Committee, the board in a close vote rejected a motion to turn down the transfer of an employee to one job and transfer her to another.
That is an authority the board doesn’t have. While it can turn down a recommended transfer or other personnel action, it cannot then make a personnel assignment.
Additionally, the proposed action threatened the fragile personnel structure constructed over the past few months as part of a budget revision.
The objective, met so far, was to avoid a reduction in force. A number of teaching jobs have been lost through attrition or expiration of funding grants, but no traditional layoffs have occurred.
The most visible program change in the budget, a change initially discussed at a board retreat in February and previewed several times in the media, as closing the Adult Education program at a savings of $350,000.
Administrators and employees were shifted to other posts, including George Fisher in Eunice and Evattae Green in Opelousas. Fisher becomes director of a new alternative school in Eunice and Greene a facilitator at the St. Landry Accelerated Transition School.
The moves were approved in July but came back up because they were termed appointments rather than transfers. Correcting the semantics gave the board opportunity to review the action.
It also gave former AE employee Debbie Faul an avenue to talk about her assignment as a SLATS facilitator.
“The alternative school program has two facilitators and the facilitators have the same job descriptions,” Faul said. “I just want to note that.”
The two will oversee 20 students, and cost about $150,000 for the pair’s salary and benefits, Faul said. She considered that a waste of money during a time when the school system is in a state of financial emergency.
Superintendent Michael Nassif said the extra administrator will help improve student performance inside the program.
“When we were visited for special education monitoring, we were found deficient and we were cited for many issues at the alternative school and I felt an additional administrator would help bolster that,” Nassif said.
Faul argued that those deficiencies were noted years ago and have been fixed and were due to placing a regular education teacher in a special education position.
Member Charles Ross, while not arguing that Greene could not do the SLATS job well, thought she would be more valuable at another facility. Several board members agreed.
Nassif cautioned the board against tampering with personnel moves and creating a Domino effect with people and positions.
Ultimately, the board rejected Ross’ motion.