Keller won’t continue as school board president

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 2010



RESERVE – When the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board begins new terms of office in January it will have a new leader since current President Gerald Keller said he will not seek re-election to the post.

Keller, who represents the 3rd District that covers parts of Reserve, is stepping down after serving multiple terms as the School Board president. The board holds elections for president and vice-president every two years, and a new election is set for January 2011.

Keller’s announcement followed a failed motion by board member Russ Wise who asked for a review of the board’s election policy. Wise’s motion could not garner a second.

Wise had asked that the executive committee consider a policy that rotates leadership every year. In a letter to board members, Wise suggested that beginning in January, the board’s current vice president be named president and members select a new vice president with that rotation continuing every year. Wise also proposed that anyone who serves as board president could not hold the post again for at least four years.

“That way the board would have fresh new leadership each year, but with a year’s worth of experience behind him/her as well,” Wise said in the letter.

Wise said in the letter the proposal was not an attack on Keller’s leadership as president, but merely a way to change the way leadership is chosen, calling it “not the best system.”

“I have repeatedly nominated and voted for our current president and, while I have not always agreed with his decisions, I respect and admire him both as a person and a politician,” Wise said in the letter.

Wise said under the current system Keller has the potential to hold office until 2020. He said there are other qualified members of the board who should get the opportunity to hold the office.

None of the other 10 board members offered a second to Wise’s motion.