CENTERVILLE — The application process for a permanent principal at Berwick Elementary School will open soon.
Superintendent Donald Aguillard said Act 1 of the Louisiana Legislature’s recent session requires him to meet with the school’s faculty to determine their desires in terms of qualifications for a principal before advertisement. He said the new principal should be named at the September meeting.
Aguillard created a position at the Central Office Complex July 19 for former Principal Steve Russo after a preliminary audit of the BES school activity fund revealed the “suspected misappropriation” of approximately $59,000 of assets.
While Russo is said to be serving as an instructional supervisor, in a position “commensurate with the principal job title,” his transfer was not on a long list of those presented at Tuesday’s meeting of the St. Mary Parish School Board while Debbie Tompkins’ promotion to “acting principal” was listed.
Under Act 1, Aguillard is allowed to make decisions about personnel matters without board approval with the exception of resignations and retirements. He said at a previous meeting he still will report all personnel moves to the board at public meetings in the interest of transparency.
Meanwhile, BES secretary Penny Crappell has been on medical leave since mid-May, according to the superintendent. A temporary secretary has been assigned to the school.
A Louisiana State Police investigation into the misappropriation is ongoing.
In a related matter, signatories for school activity accounts were approved at the Thursday meeting. For BES, they are Tompkins and Kathryn “Kit” Guidroz. This is expected to change once the next principal is named. Signatories for Berwick and Patterson high schools also were approved due to changes at the schools.
In other personnel matters addressed Thursday, the board learned that BHS Assistant Principal Lud Henry transferred to Patterson Junior High School as an ISSP teacher and was replaced by John Menard effective Aug. 3.
Four teachers were terminated due to their positions being deleted, one each at LaGrange Elementary, Franklin High, Hattie Watts and Shannon Elementary.
Also of note, Morgan City Adult Education teacher Vincent Holcomb retired effective Aug. 1. The program has vacated the old Jacquet school building, which Maintenance Supervisor Brad Wiese said would make an excellent base for maintenance crews for Districts 2 and 3. They currently are housed at Berwick Junior High School. The matter will be taken up at the September meeting of the board.
In other personnel matters Thursday, the board:
—Approved the salary schedule in the 2012-13 gold book, but tabled action on the rest of the book after a request from Board Member Ginger Griffin for a specific accounting of how many employees are at each indexed step in the administrative salary schedule.
—Approved revised job descriptions for principals and assistant principals in response to the requirements of 2010’s Act 54 of the Louisiana Legislature.
—Approved contract revisions for certified personnel in conjunction with Act 54.
—Approved the COMPASS teacher observation instrument as well as the Teacher Advancement Program and observation form in conjunction with Act 54.