Sanders: St. John School Board ready to be depended upon

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Special thanks to my colleagues/cohorts for entrusting me with becoming the chairman of the board for the 2019-20 calendar years.

I took this office at last week’s board meeting, where we were all sworn in for new terms.

Every board member’s opinion matters. We all have the characteristic of leadership, and I’m hopeful that everyone gets to express their concerns in assisting to make this district greater.

Today the process of education is ever changing and challenging, the demands only become greater.

As a board, our concentration will be to focus on the responsibilities of board members, which are to create a vision and set goals for the district, adopt policies that give the district direction, hire and evaluate the superintendent and oversee the annual budget.

We have taken an oath and plan to execute to the best of our ability.

The board began this process in its last term by entering into an agreement with Dr. Eric Jones of Ed Solutions, Inc.

Debbie Schum is sworn in as a member of the St. John the Baptist School Board.

This agreement entails engaging and creating a model process designed to promote a reflective conversation between the School Board members and the superintendent.

Our goal through this collaborative approach is to improve student growth and achievement, as well as the public perception of the schools in our communities.

Great educational opportunities are being provided in St. John public schools, and we will be displaying our teachers’ and students’ achievements.

The board will also be working with Mrs. Merlyna Valentine of Merlyna Valentine Consulting.

Mrs. Valentine will work with the board in understanding the national conversation of Equity vs. Equality.

During this term provided to us by the constituents of St. John, we hope to focus on the individual child to meet his individual needs.

We will focus on helping each child meet his fullest potential in the hope of improving the district by improving individual instruction tailored to the individual child, no matter a child’s background.

As board members, our hope is to assist in guiding the district with these goals.

Our Board has committed to have a unified voice and stance in achieving excellence for students, career teachers and our community of St. John the Baptist Parish.

We have to be the hope for the children in our care, “Their Advocates.” We’ve been given an opportunity to be the change factor for the children of St. John.

With roughly 6,300 students, these children and young adults depend on us to make sound decisions that will impact their lives forever.

Together, inclusive of this board, the superintendent, his administrative team, school site administrators, teachers, bus drivers, maintenance workers, custodians and lunch techs alike, basically stated, “The children of our community/district depend on each and every one of us every day.”

Patrick H. Sanders is the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board District 4 representative and School Board president. He can be reached at