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New superintendent has tough job ahead

Nearly a year after Courtney Millet stepped down as the superintendent of schools for St. John the Baptist Parish, the School Board has finally found a permanent replacement for her. The decision comes none too soon for the school district, which aside from fiscal troubles the past few years is now facing a long road back to being whole after Hurricane Isaac flooded Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School and East St. John High School.
Herbert Smith has done an admirable job filling in for Millet over the past year, but because he never really saw the position as anything more than a temporary stop, he seemed understandably reluctant to take any difficult and possibly unpopular stances. And what this school system is facing now is a difficult situation, and many potentially unpopular moves lie in the near future.
Hopefully Millet’s chosen successor, Kevin R. George, has the strong personality necessary to keep the current School Board focused on moving the district forward. The 11-member body has shown that it is very good at debate but less effective when it comes to making hard decisions. The slow pace of recovery in the district can be at least partially attributed to this tendency.
So what the St. John Parish Public School System needs right now is a firm leader with an open ear and an open door, a leader who can make the tough calls while always keeping an eye on the greater good.
The St. John Parish School System has made so big strides forward in recent years, but Hurricane Isaac has left it struggling to remain on course in many cases. Here’s hoping Mr. George is just the man to right the ship and lead way into the future of public education.