Superintendent’s contract renewed

NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board renewed Superintendent Linda D’Amico’s contract Thursday night following a brief executive session held to discuss her job performance.

The board voted 6-1 to extend D’Amico’s contract until June 30, 2015, with board President Brandon Bergeron voting against renewing her current contract, due to expire March 31.

Bergeron told D’Amico that she shouldn’t interpret his dissenting vote on her contract extension as a sign he’s unwilling to support her efforts.

“I feel that educationally, yes, we are making some gains, but some schools remain to be a problem,” Bergeron said. “I think we’ve had ample time to see some of those issues adjusting, but just not enough to my satisfaction. And that’s what I based my vote on.”

Board member Anita LeJeune was absent from Thursday night’s meeting.

Frank Aguillard, who called on the board to renew the superintendent’s contract, cited D’Amico’s gradual rise within the school system from teacher to superintendent.

He said her experience was valuable to the district as it faced transition challenges posed by state educational mandates.

“I’m doing this so we can have some stability in our system,” Aguillard said.

Board members Thomas Nelson and James Cline both said they feel the school district had been moving in the right direction under D’Amico’s leadership.

D’Amico read aloud a prepared statement saying she would continue to strive to achieve success for the Pointe Coupee Parish school system, based on hard work, focus and the support of the School Board and the community.

“At this time, stability is needed when many changes are happening with accountability, curriculum and teacher/administrator evaluations,” she said. “These are changing times and it would be difficult for someone to come in at this time.”

The vote to extend the superintendent’s contract drew gasps from several audience members who then pressed the board for specific details about D’Amico’s evaluation.

Board attorney Bob Hammonds replied that such employee evaluations are private and could not be released to the public.

But during the board’s Oct. 25 meeting, members did publicly discuss the results of D’Amico’s annual performance review, which awarded her a score of 3.62 out of a possible 5.0 points, according to minutes of the meeting.