St. John schools gets superintendent contract

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005


Staff Reporter

RESERVE-The St. John the Baptist Parish school board’s executive committee and Superintendent Michael Coburn have come to an agreement on the negotiations of Coburn’s contract, following an executive session at the School Board office on Tuesday morning.

The committee plans to present it to the board and recommend they accept the contract, prompting a three-year extension on Coburn’s position, according to Russ Wise, executive committee member.

After the executive session, Coburn said he felt comfortable and satisfied with the final draft of the contract.

“The contract was negotiated well and in good faith on both parties,” he said.

Wise said the committee feels they have resolved most issues, though the board needs to still approve “things that may be controversial.”

Coburn said the contract will be submitted to the board possibly Tuesday morning, with discussion taking place at a regular meeting to be held Wednesday, April 13.

That meeting is pushed up from the regular meeting scheduled to take place on April 21.

Wise said that though the board needs to see the contract before details are revealed, the contract is designed to hold Coburn accountable for the progress of the school system.

“It requires (the board) to set specific goals for the school year and evaluate him and his performance on a regular basis,” Wise said.

The contract if excepted by the board, will go into effect in June and last until June of 2008.

At a special meeting held Thursday, March 31, the board voted 8-3 to begin negotiations with Coburn.

Those who voted for the motion to enter into negotiations were Patrick Sanders, Elexia Henderson, Keith Jones, Dowie Gendron, Lowell Bacas, Keller, Russ Wise, and Philip Johnson.

Board members who voted against the motion were Russell Jack, Clarence Triche, and Matthew Ory.

Due to earlier confusion over whether Coburn was already offered a contract during a school board meeting held Jan. 20, the board also voted 6-4 to seek an opinion on the matter from the attorney general, with Keith Jones abstaining from the vote.

The attorney general’s involvement is still forthcoming.