School Board appoints Polly Higden in District E

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

The Iberville Parish School Board last week appointed former school teacher Pauline “Polly” Higdon of Plaquemine as the interim replacement for Paul Distefano in District E until a special election this fall.

Distefano resigned after 17 years on the board in order to apply to become head football coach at his alma mater, Plaquemine High School. Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr. is expected to ask the board at its regular meeting next week to advertise the position.

Distefano had hoped for the appointment of Higdon, his aunt and his first grade school teacher, as his interim replacement. Higdon, nee Distefano, taught in public schools for 15 years.

At a special meeting last week, the board voted 8-0 for Higdon's appointment. Plaquemine board members Michael “Chief” Barbee and Brian Willis made and seconded the motion.

Willis said Higdon was an excellent choice as Distefano's interim replacement.

Before that vote, board members Dorothy R. Sansoni of Plaquemine and Darlene Ourso of White Castle proposed to wait 10 days and allow interested persons to send in resumes before determining Distefano's replacement. Their motion failed in a 2-6 vote.

The board also called a special election concurrent with the fall elections to elect a member to serve out the final two years of Distefano's term. Under state law, when a vacancy occurs, a special election is necessary if more than a year remains in a term.

Qualifying is scheduled August 15-17 for the primary election on November 6. A run-off, if required, will be December 1.?