St. John Chief Administrative Officer Marie Mercadel resigns, but position filled quickly

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 2, 2011




LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom announced Wednesday that her chief administrative officer will be leaving her post at the beginning of next month.

Marie Brown-Mercadel, who was hired in 2010 when Robottom took office, is resigning as CAO so that she can move with her husband, an active duty member of the United States Marine Corps who has been transferred to San Diego. Mercadel’s last day in office will be July 1, according to a parish release.

“Marie has done an excellent job as chief administrative officer, serving admirably during a very difficult time in our parish’s history,” Robottom said in a release. “Her leadership and guidance were instrumental in moving St. John forward.”

Taking over for Mercadel will be Theresa Rodgers, a Prairieville native and veteran of the Ascension Parish School system. Robottom and Rodgers have served on various state boards and panels together. Rodgers will begin as CAO on July 2.

Rodgers has more than 30 years of experience in the Ascension Parish School system, with the last six years spent as supervisor for special education for the school system.

According to the parish release, Rodgers has also worked as the direct supervisor for Ascension Parish school board employees and was responsible for annual evaluations as well as hundreds of formal observations and employee performance reviews. Rodgers’ other responsibilities included securing funding, federal and state reporting, compliance and data management, personnel needs assessment and interviewing, workshop design and implementation.

Rodgers holds a master’s degree in speech-language pathology as well as an Education Specialist’s degree in Learning Disabilities from Louisiana State University. She has completed post-graduate work in administration and supervision at LSU and Southeastern Louisiana University.

“I am extremely pleased to have Mrs. Rodgers join our team and continue the progress we’ve made,” Robottom said in the release. “The groundwork for continued progress in St. John has been laid, the foundation is strong and this will be a very smooth transition.”