Mixture of new and familiar faces emerge in Iberville Parish School Board races
The Iberville Parish School Board will have a new member-at-large, while the current board president earned another four years after a landslide victory.
Polly Distefano Higdon, the District E School Board member, won the seat held by Darlene Ourso, a veteran educator/coach who chose not to run.
Higdon had opposition from fellow Plaquemine resident John Morgan in what was a hard-fought battle by both candidates.
Higdon won the race with 6,140 votes (55 percent) against Morgan’s 5064 (45 percent).
The seat Higdon vacated was decided in July when Mario Migliacio – who had never run for public office – went unopposed to fill Higdon’s school board seat.
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.
Ourso, a White Castle resident and longtime educator, will leave office at the end of December after 20 years on the School Board.
Her fellow White Castle resident, businessman Chris Daigle, won by the largest margin in the race when he garnered 1,382 votes (75 percent) against opponent Jasmine Jackson’s 457 (25 percent).
In Plaquemine, a 2 percent margin put incumbent Michael Hebert past opponent Brittany Tillman. Hebert finished with 872 votes (51 percent) against Tillman’s 848 (49 percent).
In a tight race for the seat in the southwest Plaquemine/Bayou Sorrel area, Daven P. Tullier finished with 944 votes (53 percent) over Kayla Tempanaro Huter, who had 841 (47 percent).
Tullier will fill the seat held by Glyna Kelly, who did not seek re-election.
In the Plaquemine area, Yolanda Butler Laws, landed another term on the board when she notched 752 votes (60 percent) against Claysha “Clay” Williams, who had 505.
Meanwhile, voters on the east side of the parish kept one longtime member in office and voted out another.
In District A, current School Board vice president Theresa Roy, a longtime board member from the St. Gabriel area, drew 696 votes (70 percent) for a win over Jan Drinkwater, who had 304.
In District B, which covers the Carville area, Catherine Williams unseated veteran board member Melvin Lodge, the current president of the Louisiana School Board Association. Williams gained 476 votes (56 percent) against 369 for Lodge.
In the north end of the parish, Pam George – who was instrumental in the push to reopen North Iberville High School after it was closed in 2009 – landed four more years on the board when she went unopposed during the qualifying period.