Russell Jack says good byes after decade plus on School Board

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

RESERVE — Russell Jack was a fixture on the St. John the Baptist School Board for more than 14 years, serving as the unofficial chief West Bank education supporter.

Jack said he attended many West St. John High School graduations during that time and was continually motivated by the number of the school’s college graduates who would return for the celebration.

Jack shared the memory and many more last week when addressing the School Board on the day they would name his replacement.

“I truly had a chance to deal with parents who had great concern for their kids,” Jack said.

“These administrators put so much into molding our kids into what they are today.

“That is what I am encouraging and that’s what I am asking you to continue. One thing I always did was put the kids first, and I’m asking y’all, as Board members, to continue doing the same. I know y’all will do a good job.”

Jack is stepping down to serve as St. John the Baptist Parish Registrar of Voters.

In alternating touching and humorous comments, Jack thanked each Board member by name and story, while also recognizing past and present staff members.

“When I first came here, I had a lot more hair, was about 30 pounds lighter and was not on pressure pills,” he said to many laughs at the beginning of his remarks. “It’s been a good almost 15 years. When I got elected as a Board member, I didn’t know anything about being a Board member. Every board meeting, I would ask the Lord to remove me and ask Him to intercede. He did just that.

“First of all, I would like to thank the constituents of District 1 for entrusting me to be their leader and spokesman. I’ve learned a whole lot. I have developed many great relationships.”

Jack said the beginning of his tenure nearly 15 years ago included a near constant feeling of anger when Board meetings would end.

“But I learned how to work with Board members and the administration and together truly things started to happen,” he said.

“Scores went up in the schools. Our athletic program does great. West St. John High was named nationally more than once and West St. John Elementary is making strides.”

School Board members voted Feb. 15 to name Charo Holden as interim District 1 representative.

Holden, who took her seat on the Board after the vote, will represent District 1 until a special election is held in October.