School Board member appointed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board yesterday approved the appointment of Sherry DeFrancesch to replace District 5 representative James Madere, who announced his resignation at last Thursday’s School Board meeting.

Six board members, just enough for a quorum, were present for the appointment along with a handful of parish principals. All six members present assented to her appointment.

DeFrancesch, who is the daughter-in-law of St. John Clerk of Court Eliana DeFrancesch, has little experience with the school system but was recommended for the position by Madere. What she does have, however, is the experience of being a parent.

“I have a 5-year-old who is ready to start school,” she said.

District 5, which DeFrancesch will represent, covers the LaPlace neighborhoods that include John L. Ory and Emily C. Watkins elementary schools.

DeFrancesch received her recommendation a few days ago and explained, “I took a day or so to think about it.”

DeFrancesch is not taking on the position with a laundry list of objectives or crusades she will spearhead.

For the time being, she will content herself to observe the workings of the board.

“I’m gong to listen and learn and take it all in,” she said.

In fact, she said Tuesday’s meeting was the first she ever attended although she noted she has spent some time reading the minutes of past meetings.

After being appointed DeFrancesch accepted the responsibility with a short statement.

“I’m honored by the opportunity to serve the children of St. John Parish,” she said.

Superintendent Courtney Millet returned the sentiment, saying, “I’m glad you will be a part of our team.”

DeFrancesch, a former resident of St. Bernard Parish, came to St. John Parish seven years ago. She is currently the only female to serve on the School Board.

Although Madere announced his resignation just days ago, the School Board had little time to find a replacement.

Local boards are required to replace a vacant seat within 10 days or the responsibility moves to the state level.