PLAQUEMINE — The Iberville Parish School Board decided to create four new positions that will give the district a supervisor of technology and three new program directors at its two Math, Science and Arts academies.
The board was divided during Monday’s meeting on whether or not to approve the proposal, with a minority of members opposed to advertising for candidates to fill the new positions.
The board finally voted 8-4 to create the four positions as recommended by Superintendent Ed Cancienne.
Board members Pam George, Dorothy Sansoni, Brian Willis and Darlene Ourso voted against the measure. Board members Tom Delahaye, Albertha Hasten and Donald Patterson were absent.
Brandie Blanchard, the district’s personnel coordinator, said the assistant director’s jobs at the east and west locations of the Math, Science and Art academies would be eliminated to make room for the new hires.
Blanchard said two new program directors would be hired for MSA-West at Plaquemine and one for MSA-East at St. Gabriel.
As some board members began to consider postponing action on the measure, Elvis Cavalier, director of MSA-East, pleaded with them to accept Cancienne’s proposal because of the growing enrollment at MSA-West and the geographic distance of MSA-East.
“It takes almost an entire day to go deal with issues on the eastside,” Cavalier said.
Board member Brian Willis sought to introduce a motion approving advertising for the three program directors, but dropping the proposed technology supervisor’s slot.
Willis said he had issues with the proposed salary for the technology supervisor because that hiree would be paid more than school principals and some administrative staffers.
Board member Dorothy Sansoni supported Willis’ proposal, saying she felt the district needs to focus on hiring more teachers.
Willis’ substitute motion failed by a 4-8 vote.
Cancienne said hiring a supervisor of technology is important because of the millions of dollars being spent on new equipment and computer software upgrades at the district’s schools.
“You must have quality supervision in the area of technology,” Cancienne said. “Technology is the way of bringing the world to these children.”
Blanchard said the four job slots would be advertised for two weeks before candidates are interviewed and hiring recommendations submitted to the board.