Meet the Candidates: School Board District 11

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Editor’s Note: Candidates were sent a questionnaire via email.

  • LINDSEY VICKNAIR

Lindsey Vicknair

Date of Birth: June 15, 1989

Profession/current employer/ retired: I worked in the public school system for ten years, with eight of those being in St. John the Baptist Parish Public School System. I now work for an education-focused non-profit, The Center for Literacy and Learning, as a Senior Literacy Content & Training Specialist.

Why did you choose to run for school board? Although my career has moved on from being inside of the classroom, my time as a St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools employee is what fueled my desire to become a vehicle for change on the school board one day. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, a Masters Degree in Special Education, as well as Educational Leader certification with the Louisiana Department of Education. Now in my current role, I train and coach educators on effective teaching practices. Born and raised in LaPlace and a dedicated member of our community and parish, I understand the needs of our local businesses for an employable workforce. Strong schools build strong communities, and if we want new businesses to develop here, we must have a school system that our community is proud of.

What is our public school district’s No. 1 challenge? I believe our number one challenge is parent and community engagement. Covid unfortunately started a trend that has been hard to break. For so long we were not allowed to have parents inside of our school buildings, and that mindset has carried over into other areas. I would love to work towards a family engagement initiative district-wide, so that our caregivers and community members can see the wonderful things going on inside of our schools and become partners in our students’ education again.

What is our public school district’s No. 1 asset? Our number one asset is our educators. Everyone inside of our school buildings in an educator. No job is too small, no interaction too insignificant. Our children are the future of our beloved community, and our educators recognize that. They deserve to have an active, energetic voice in District 11 who understands what it is like inside of a classroom and will facilitate conversations and make decisions based off what is best for our students.

What would you like to see improved or upgraded with our public school district? I would love to see our early childhood facilities improved. Since the closure of the Child Development Center in Garyville a few years ago, our early childhood classrooms have all been inside of our school buildings. Some facilities are more conducive to young children than others, so I would love to work towards consistent learning environments for all of our pre-k classrooms. With the adoption of the state’s first accountability system for kindergarten through second grade being passed by BESE in August, early childhood classrooms are more important than ever. Kindergarten-readiness begins way before kindergarten, and it is imperative that we support our early childhood department in their efforts to ensure that every child in St. John the Baptist Parish enters kindergarten ready to learn.

What qualities would you like to see in a new superintendent? I would like to see a multi-skilled, committed, visionary. Our new superintendent needs to be someone who can communicate with educators and stakeholders alike, as well as being familiar with guidance and initiatives coming from the Louisiana Department of Education. The person that is hired to be the next superintendent of St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools should be an instructional leader, but also someone who can look beyond the academic needs of our students and ensure that we are implementing programs to help students problem solve and persevere through adversity. The new superintendent should have a grasp on the latest educational technology, ensuring that our schools are utilizing what is best for our students and teachers to drive positive learning outcomes. This person should strive to grow as a leader and believe that one never stops learning. We need a capacity-builder as the leader of our School District, and if elected, that is what I will be looking for.

How do you plan to make a difference? I plan to make a difference through the relationships that I have built and will continue to build in our school system and parish. I work well on a team and am willing to hear other points of view to build consensus. As a school board member, I will never lose sight of the main priority – our students. There is no “one-size fits all” blanketed solution to raising our school performance scores. We know that we are significantly lower than our neighboring parishes, so I will ensure that we are following our strategic plan and allocating funds to best meet student needs and drive improvement. I will use my education and experiences to have conversations and make decisions based on what is best for the students in St. John the Baptist Parish. As a Masters-Level educator, certified educational leader, and teacher coach – I know what goes on inside of the classroom and vow to be a voice for our teachers and students. With student literacy needs and teacher retention at the forefront of decision making, think of all of the amazing things we could accomplish.

 

  • SHONDRELL PERRILLOUX

Shondrell Perrilloux

Age: 44

Profession/current employer/ retired: I am the owner of several businesses and a non profit organization. I have over 25 years experience in Accounting and Business Administration, over 20 years legal experience “Pro Se”, over 30 years in Ministry with a Doctorate in Divinity and Biblical studies, licensed and ordained Prophetess and High Priestess of Orisha, founder of Word of God Ministries, Int’L which is registered and accredited with the Louisiana Board of Regents, with over 15 years as a licensed Commercial and Residential Builder. I am a Motivational and Inspirational speaker, I provide Life Skill training, Job Placement Assistance, Financial Literacy training for over 20 years. I am the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People known as the NAACP in St. John the Baptist Parish. For over 15 years, I have set historic record making precedents for civil rights justice for all people. I am not perfect but I have purpose. I have made past mistakes in judgment which has taught me valuable lessons to assist others from going down the wrong path. Lessons learned has made me the determined, bold, courageous, leader and advocate for the people. I have pledged to commit myself as a Voice of Truth and Results. I have been fighting tirelessly for accountability and transparency in our community. I caused the St John the Baptist Parish Public School Board to follow its own current policies and procedures.

Why did you choose to run for school board? I choose to run for school board to raise the standards of our school system by updating policies, procedures, introducing program for at risk students, to improve the performance status of our declining testing scores, reduce the school-prison pipeline by introducing services to enhance the motivation of student/parent participation within the system, reduce wasteful spending by monitoring the income and spending and to work closely with the fellow School board members, the Superintendent, Educators, Parents, Students and the Community.

What is our public school district’s No. 1 challenge? The primary challenge within our school district is out dated polices and procedures. We must introduce policies and procedures to comply with modern times. Lack of oversight of the Budget and Accountability must be closely monitored.

What is our public school district’s No. 1 asset? The greatest asset in our public schools are our Children because they are the future leaders of our community.

What qualities would you like to see in a new superintendent? We need an intelligent, competent, free critical thinking, creative, engifted Superintendent who will not compromise the integrity of the system by introducing and enforcing effective programs for progression of our students.

How do you plan to make a difference? I intend to continue making a difference within our school system by applying pressure leading to effective change.

 

  • CLARENCE TRICHE – INCUMBENT

Date of Birth: May 5, 1940

Profession/current employer/ retired: Semi-retired

Why did you choose to run for school board? To continue to use my business expertise to find additional sources of funding necessities for programs for the students and living wages for the teachers.

What is our public school district’s No. 1 challenge? Funding / Hiring and retaining good, certified teachers

What is our public school district’s No. 1 asset? St. John Parish School Board’s No. 1 asset is the number of excellent teachers who give 100% effort educating our students.

What would you like to see improved or upgraded with our public school district? As of now, we need to have all of our buildings repaired and finished for our students.

What qualities would you like to see in a new superintendent? #1 – Ability to listen. Not afraid to make decisions involving education of our students.

How do you plan to make a difference? To continue as I have done in the past, finding the funds to make a large business of 938 employees viable.

 

  • RENITA GRABER

Renita Graber

Date of Birth: 3/21/1965

Profession/current employer/ retired: Pastor/30 Retired Educator

Why did you choose to run for school board? I am running for school board because I have a genuine commitment to support and help ensure a quality education for EVERY STUDENT this system serves.  I have what it takes to work together with others to help make our school district an overall better system, including improving its fiscal health and public trust.

What is our public-school district’s No. 1 challenge? Our Public-School District’s #1 challenge is the absence of a Superintendent.

What is our public-school district’s No. 1 asset? The children are our Number 1 asset. That’s why the most quality education is important. Quality education includes making sure our children are afforded the best academic rigor to ensure they get into the higher institutions of learning. It is also making sure teachers and staff have everything they need to be the best for our kids. Technology must be cutting edge and more certifications offered prior to graduation.

By far our public school’s district #1 asset is our children. My goal is to help see that our school system properly educated students because this will build strong families and thus ensure a stronger St. John Parish Community.

What would you like to see improved or upgraded with our public school district? I would like to see the structure of the school board system rebuilt. All Policies and Procedures must be revisited, revised and implemented.

What qualities would you like to see in a new superintendent? The superintendent should be a strong and qualified leader, with clear vision, innovative ideas and effective communication skills.  The superintendent should also be a person of integrity with a sense of accountability, financial intelligence and able to manage well.

How do you plan to make a difference? I am a builder. I know how to set structure and build systems. Many things within the school system are broken. St John Parish will not see better days until new structures and systems are set. You cannot build with a structure that is not solid and cannot implement systems that are outdated. I plan to work tirelessly with everyone to get the school board on a solid footing so that we would be able to progress.