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School Board on track in superintendent search

Written by Aaron Williams on . Posted in Local

The West Baton Rouge School Board selected BWP & Associates as the system’s superintendent search firm during the school board meeting Tuesday evening, December 17.

BWP & Associates, formerly Harold Webb Associates, worked with the WBR School System nearly 11 years ago when the board hired now-superintendent David Corona. Corona announced earlier this year that he would be retiring at the end of the school year.

Though Corona will not be involved in the selection of the parish’s new superintendent, he said that he is confident that the chosen company will help to bring the best applicants from around the country to the school board.

“I’m not involved in the search process, obviously, nor should I be. But they’re a good, solid company and they’ll do a good job. They were well represented at the committee meeting and did a good job making their presentation. I think they’ll do a good job,” said Corona.

BWP & Associates, located in Libertyville, Ill., combined from three well-known search firms, including Harold Webb Associates, who became the country’s first superintendent search firm in 1977; PNR Associates, who has conducted leadership searches for educational as well as national nonprofit organizations since 1984; and the Bickert Group, Ltd., who served predominantly Midwest school districts.

In other business, Corona said that the board approved a financial report by Jared Gibbs, WBR Supervisor of Business Services.

“Our sales taxes and our property taxes are all good. The school system is in good fiscal posture right now,” Corona said. “That can change as sales taxes and property taxes change, but we’re in a good financial place,”

Corona said that 10 members of the board are fiscally responsible, and he is pleased that each knows when to save money and when to spend.

“We take being the stewards of the taxpayers dollar, we take that very seriously, all 11 of us – those 10 board members and myself,” he said. “We value the taxpayers dollar. I think we’re doing a good job of educating children within the financial constraints we have.”

The board also donated a portion of land behind Cohn Elementary to the parish. The parish plans to construct and maintain a road on the property, surrounding the school and giving better and safer access to William and Lee Park in Port Allen.

“It will be better for security for the school because of the road and it will be better for the community in terms of having a safer access for children to William and Lee Park,” Corona said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon, December 20, adding that the city of Port Allen endorsed the transaction during their regular meeting Wednesday, December 18.

The board also recognized two area teachers for being named Region 2 Teachers of the Year for LACUE (Louisiana Computer Using Educators).

Lindsay Gates, a Pre-K teacher at Port Allen Elementary; and Mandy LeBourgeois Ford, science teacher at Brusly High School, were named teachers of the year after presentations made, showing connections they made with technology and teaching.

The school board members were also recognized for completing their required number of hours of Continuing Learning Units for 2013 as mandated by Act 705.

“School board members in Louisiana must complete a certain number of hours of professional development each year,” explained Corona. “And every one of our board members went beyond the minimum number that they had to complete.”

Corona said that the 10 members of the board went well beyond their required amount of hours, adding that they are good people.

“They understand their role as policymakers, they hold me and people like me accountable for what we’re supposed to do. And it’s just a real good thing,” he said. “We’ve got 10 really good board members.”

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