E. Feliciana superintendent gets high marks

East Feliciana Parish School Board members gave Henderson Lewis Jr. a “superior” grade Tuesday in his first evaluation as the parish’s school superintendent.

Board Vice President Mitch Harrell said Lewis had a score of 109, which put him in the superior range. The highest possible score was 120.

Lewis thanked board members for their confidence in him, noting he was named superintendent about 11 months ago.

“The past year went by particularly fast,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he will strive to persuade the public that he and the board are committed to redefining public education in the parish and that the board is “committed to do what is right for the children of this parish.”

“I think he deserves the superior evaluation,” board member Paul Kent said.

But Kent also suggested the board revise its evaluation form because parts are no longer relevant in light of changes to education policy made last year ty the state Legislature.

Board President Michael Bradford and Harrell agreed, saying they will check with neighboring school districts to see how they evaluate their superintendents.

Lewis and the board face a major test in public perception in a special tax election Saturday.

The board is seeking an additional 38 mills in property taxes to improve the parish’s academic programs, attract qualified teachers with higher pay, improve technology to meet new state mandates and work on a backlog of school maintenance issues.

If voters approve the proposition, it would be the largest tax hike in the parish’s history.