Library vote ends in tie

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2002


RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board met Thursday evening to discuss several issues, including the idea of a branch library prompted by board member Russ Wise.

The meeting started off with an educational presentation from John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School. Principal Teri Noel showed a video produced by media teacher, Randy Kreiger, portraying the thoughts of various teachers on the school, its principal and students.

Noel said Kreiger worked on the project for few weeks, using the school’s new television studio and equipment.

“This video makes tonight’s project worth it,” said Noel. “It shows all the good things happening at the school and we believe we are a good school.”

Noel expressed her gratitude to the school board for taking the school to “greater heights” with the 4-year-old magnet program and their support for the television studio.

Superintendent of St. John schools, Michael Coburn, gave his report with the acknowledgement of two teachers for the “Spotlight on Teachers Program.”

Ellen Grant, a social worker at the Redirection Center, and Loretta Tassin, a guidance counselor at Leon Godchaux Junior High School were honored with plaques for their service to the St. John Parish community.

Coburn also honored students, Harry Davis, Allen Sale and Malaya Toney for making state records at the Louisiana Games Uniting Mind and Body (GUMBO) State invitational.

The contest was held Sept. 29 in Baton Rouge.

The new “honor roll yard sign” was introduced at the meeting by Coburn.

This sign can be displayed by students at their home who have made the honor roll in the specified nine week semester.

The parent and student must sign a contract at the school stating they will display the sign proudly and if the student does not make the honor roll the following semester, they must return it.

There will be a $10 fee if the sign is broken or not returned.

“It will be a little more work for the board in keeping up with it,” said Coburn.

Coburn announced St. John School district was chosen to participate in a “District Dialogue” and an Educational Summit will be held Jan. 16 for the three River Parishes.

Robert Brown, the school board’s technology coordinator, requested the board’s approval for the submission of an ERATE proposal for the 2002-03 school year. This proposal would request funds for computer hardware and internet connectivity in the schools.

The board members approved the request and upgrades of network infrastructures will take place for the next school year.

The hot topic of the evening was the request from Wise for a resolution to open a branch library. He said the new library located on U.S. Highway 51 has no connecting roads and is far from some residential areas.

This distance would cause students to have to get a ride to the library as opposed to riding their bikes, said Wise.

“There is now a steady stream and soon there will not be as many kids,” Wise said.

His idea was to move some of the offices that were supposed to be placed into the old library into the new one. The space left from these offices could be used as a children’s library, said Wise.

“I’m not mad at anyone,” said Wise. “It is not anything the council overlooked or the library board. Someone brought the idea to my attention.”

“The concept is a great idea,” said Coburn. “But it may not be feasible.”

School board member Felix LeBoef said this was an issue in parish council business and he did not want to be involved in council business.

“This is not a school board function,” said board member John Crose.

The motion by Wise for the resolution failed with a fivefive split and one member, Patrick Sanders, did not record a vote.

Voting for the motion were Dowie Gendron, Lowell Bacas, Wise, Matthew Ory and Clarence Triche. Those members voting against the motion were Leroy Mitchell, Charles Watkins, Crose, Felix LeBoef and Gerald Keller.