St. John School Board Oks reorganization

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

Concern expressed on appointment at East St. John Elementary


Staff Reporter

RESERVE — Amid controversy that has drawn attention to the recent appointment of a school principal, Superintendent of Schools Michael Coburn’s reorganization plan was approved Thursday night by the St. John the Baptist School Board.

The reorganization plan presented at the meeting charts the assignments of principals, assistant principals, and central office administrators. It will go into effect at the beginning of the school year this week.

Though, in the end, little discussion took place when the motion was presented and then passed, Board Member Keith Jones called to go into executive session to discuss “personnel matters.”

After the session, Jones then noted an existing petition to protest the recent appointment of Jerry “Texx” Galloway as acting principal of East St. John Elementary. Over 400 residents within that school district had signed the petition.

Jones publicly asked Coburn if he was certain about the appointment of Galloway, despite those concerns. Coburn responded by saying the decision was made with a hiring committee of teachers and administrators and he concurred with the recommendation.

“We will hold you accountable,” Jones said. The vote passed 9-1, with member Russell Jack voting against it. Board Member Elexia Henderson was absent.

No public participation session was held, and though Galloway was present, he did not speak.

According to the petition, the residents are concerned about three things: the last two schools Galloway headed fell below state department of education standards; they believe there are more qualified candidates to fill the position; and an investigation of Galloway over missing money.

Galloway has been principal at East St. John Elementary before, and the petition stated, at that time, the school was placed into corrective action. When Galloway was principal at West St. John High from 2002-2004, the school was placed into school improvement, according to the petition.

In 2004, when Galloway was principal at West St. John High, he left approximately $10,000 in the school safe overnight, which is against school policy. The money, proceeds from a football game, was reported stolen.

According to St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, Galloway, as well as all other employees who had access to the safe, is considered a suspect. The sheriff’s office said the theft is still being actively investigated. After suspension for violating policy, Galloway went to work as assistant principal at John L. Ory Communications Magnet.

Galloway replaces Alnita Miller, who was hired as principal, but then decided not to take the job due to “personal reasons.” Miller replaced Willette Wallace, who was acting principal at East St. John Elementary since 2002.

The reorganization plan named Wallace as acting coordinator of special assignments.