4 principals named to take over in St. John Parish Public Schools

Published 12:16 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

RESERVE — Four new principals were tabbed this week to guide schools in the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District.

The appointees will transition to their new positions at East St. John High School, John L. Ory Magnet, Fifth Ward Elementary and LaPlace Elementary during May and June and officially assume the leadership roles July 1, according to Superintendent Kevin George.

Christopher B. Mayes has been named principal at East St. John High following two years as principal and school director at KIPP Delta Public Schools in Blytheville, Ark.

According to Mayes, KIPP Delta enjoyed a 100 percent high school graduation rate with all seniors accepted to at least one university.

Mayes said the school’s average daily attendance was 96.5 percent and reduced its suspension rate by 50 percent during his tenure.

He previously served as a principal intern in Baton Rouge and Chicago following his time (2014-15) as an assistant principal at Career Academy in East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools.

A familiar name was tabbed to lead John L. Ory Magnet, as longtime local educator Monica Brown was promoted to principal.

Brown has worked in St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools since 2008, most recently serving as assistant principal at John L. Ory, where she was a master teacher in English language arts.

She has local classroom experience in third, sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

Taking over at Fifth Ward Elementary is Toni Wilson, who has worked for the last 15 years with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, serving as an elementary school principal for the last six.

Wilson’s previous experience includes time as an elementary teacher, school instructional specialist and assistant principal.

Zina Jones will be the new principal at LaPlace Elementary, where she has worked as assistant principal since May 2016.

Jones was also an assistant principal at Garyville Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet from May 2014 to May 2016 and an assistant principal at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary from December 2007 to May 2014.

According to George, the openings were created because the current principals at East St. John High and John L. Ory Magnet are moving away, LaPlace Elementary needed to fill the leadership role currently held by an interim principal and it’s time to provide another person the opportunity to move Fifth Ward Elementary forward.