St. James moving forward with high school turf

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 10, 2012



LUTCHER – Apparently at least one St. James Parish School Board member has rethought the decision the install artificial turf in the parish’s two high school stadium.

At a special meeting Thursday, the school board voted to advertise for bids for the turf projects, but board member Diana Cantillo, who represent District 1, voted against the measure.

‘My dad always taught me before you purchase something you need to ask yourself, ‘Do you want it, or do you need it,’” Cantillo said. “I did a lot of soul searching, and I feel it’s a want, not a need.”

Board member Kenneth Foret, who voted in favor of the measure, said he had similar misgivings but felt the board needed to move forward with the project because it already told the taxpayers that this is where bond money would be spent.

The board will seek bids on the purchase and installation of artificial at Lutcher High School as well as the purchase of the turf itself for future installation at the St. James High School stadium when it is built on the parcel of land the district is in the process of acquiring near the intersection of Louisiana highways 20 and 3127.

Building Committee Chair George Nassar said tacking on the purchase of the turf for St. James High will save the district about $160,000.

The School Board also approved the advertisement of bids for roofing projects at Gramercy Elementary School and Sixth Ward Elementary School as well as phase two of renovations at Paulina Elementary School.

The renovations at Paulina Elementary will include the addition of nine classroom as well as restrooms. The extra space will basically be enough to handle additional students from Romeville Elementary, should the district decide to close that school completely, according to Superintendent Alonzo Luce.

In his administrative report for the evening, Luce gave board members a list of the applicants who will be interviewed for the position of principal at Lutcher High School. The list includes Bobby Washington of Baton Rouge, the current principal at East Feliciana High School; David Miller of Thibodaux, the current assistant principal at West Thibodaux Middle School; Warren Hopkins of Thibodaux, the current assistant principal at Lutcher High School; Daryl Unnasch of Wellington, Fla., who has served public and private schools as principal and head at all levels from preschool through grade 12; Tony Guirlando of Calhoun, La., the current principal of Rayville Junior High; Daryl Scoggin of Monticello, Miss., the current principal of Lawrence County High School; Charles Nix of Mesquite, Texas, the current principal of Allen High School; Chad Johnson of Devillie, La., the current assistant principal of LEAD Center School; Tracy Elliott Zeringue of Lutcher, a current assistant principal on special assignment as district registrar; and Scott Campbell of Harrisburg, Pa., the current principal of Kennard-Dale High School.

The interviews, which will narrow the field to the top three candidates, will take place Monday. The Interview Committee consists of Administrative Director Carol Webre, Administrative Director Gaynell Albert, Retired Superintendent Malcolm Duplantis, Dr. Norman Dale Norris of Nicholls State University, John Brown of the School Leadership Center, Lutcher High School Quarterback Club President Nathan Poche and River Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chassity McComack.

Lastly the board approved the termination of Paulina Elementary Secretary Melanie Winchester although both Patricia Schexnayder and Charles Nailor abstained from the vote citing lack of information.