Iberville School Board honored in Recognition Month

Andrew Green agreen@postsouth.com
Back row from left: Theresa Roy, District A; Pam George, District C; Melvin Lodge, District B; Arthur M. Joffrion, Jr., Superintendent; Darlene Ourso, At-Large; Chris Daigle, District G. Front from left: Michael Hebert, Jr., District H; Polly Higdon, District E; Yolanda Laws, District F; Glyna Kelley, District D.

January 2017 has been designated as the initial School Board Recognition Month across the State of Louisiana.  This recognition provides an opportunity to focus on the critical role a school board plays in its community and schools.  There are 643 school board members across the state.

As citizen leaders, school board members face complex and demanding challenges, yet few people fully understand the scope and far reaching implications of board members' responsibilities. Louisiana residents should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and focus attention on the crucial role these elected public officials play in the education of our children.

Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community, and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. That job entails an endless string of meetings and school functions to attend; reams of reports, agendas, proposals and other information to read and study; and a host of difficult decisions to make – especially in the challenging financial times we all face in Louisiana. 

Although they wear many hats in the workday world, school board members put on a collective hat when it comes to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal of helping all students achieve. Though individual school board members may sometimes disagree on issues, their role as a member of the school board is to consistently strive toward the goal of high academic achievement. Working together, school board members speak out for public schools and the students they serve. 

Board members contribute hundreds and hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. Whether it is through crafting policies, hiring top-notch superintendents, working to handle constituent concerns, or advocating for school system goals with state and federal elected officials, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement. 

The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading in their districts. They also work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities, and spend many hours at extracurricular events. Their love for learning and concern and caring for students, staff and community drives board members' desire to lead so students can achieve. 

In Iberville Parish,  school board members develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues impacting the entire community. They bear responsibility for an annual budget of $55,937,944, 4985 students, and 892 employees.

The men and women serving on the Iberville Parish School Board are:

Polly Higdon, District E – Board President  (5 years)

Chris Daigle, District G – Board Vice President (2  years)

Darlene Ourso,  At Large (14 years)

Theresa Roy, District A - (2 years)

Melvin Lodge, District B - (14 years)

Pam George, District C - (6 years)

Glyna Kelley, District D - (26 years)

Yolanda Laws, District F - (10 years)

Micheal Hebert, District H - (10 years)

School Boards are critical to the success of the school system,” Dr. Arthur Joffrion, Iberville School Board Superintendent said.  “January has been designated as a time to consider the impact the board has on a school system.  The IPSB has been extremely supportive of the work we are doing to improve all schools.  

“Each member has been a pleasure to work with and have willingly shared their priorities and passions with me which has helped me to move forward with bringing forth a vision and data driven goals for our system.”

Thank you to Iberville Parish School Board Members.  We appreciate your time, generosity, and energy on behalf of our children and our communities.