Mario Migliacio looks ahead to work on Iberville Parish School Board

Staff Report

Mario Migliacio had never run in an election before qualifying started for the Iberville Parish School Board race. After qualifying ended, he still won’t run for an election.

Migliacio went unopposed in the recent qualifying period for the District E seat currently held by Polly Higdon.

Higdon opted to seek the parishwide seat on the School Board, a seat currently held by longtime member Darlene Ourso, who announced she would not run for another term on the board.

Mario Migliacio

It’s rare for a School Board seat to go uncontested once its current officeholder chooses not to run.

It caught Migliacio by surprise that he had no opposition once the books closed on qualifying for the Nov. 8 election.

“I was surprised … 1,000 percent surprised,” he said. “Just think about it … I’ve never served in an office before.”

He will be a newcomer to public office when inauguration rolls around in January, but Migliacio is no stranger to the life of a public servant.

His father, Nicholas “Nicky” Migiacio, served 29 years on the Iberville Parish Council, dating back to the days it operated as a police jury prior to a 1996 decision by voters that shifted parish government to Home Rule Charter.

“My dad did such a good job for his district and he has always helped people, so I learned a lot from him,” he said. “My stepdad Ralph Stassi also had a lot of influence on me because I saw the way he helped people until his final days alive.”

Mario’s cousin is Mark Migliacio, who serves as Iberville Parish director of operations under Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso.

“He works for the parish, and he’s done such a good job … anyone who ever needed anything, he helped them as well,” he said. “I have big shoes to fill.”

District E covers north Plaquemine from the Turnverville area, up to the West Baton Rouge Parish line. It also includes Green Acres and Choctaw subdivisions, as well as Sallie Drive.

“We’ve had a lot of growth in that area in the last 10 or 15 years,” Migliacio said.

He said his top priority will be to focus on the leadership of the School Board.

“My most important job will be to make sure superintendent is leading the parish well,” Migliacio said. “He has a lot of control in his position, and it’s the job of the school board to hold him accountable, just as we do in any form of government.

“We have a lot of money in this parish and it’s our job to make sure it’s spent wisely,” Migliacio said. “Our job as school board members is to make sure that every decision that we make is in the best interest of every child in our school system.”