St. Landry United Coalition of Educators Spokesman Ricky Julien was imploring the St. Landry Parish School Board on Thursday night to put people over politics and stop delaying the vote for superintendent.
“We have no room for politics in education, because it's the children who suffer; it's the educators who suffer; it's the support staff that suffer; it's the parents and the community that suffer,” said Julien.
Joseph Cassimere has been acting as interim superintendent for nearly a year and a half and is vying against Edward Brown, a Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor, for the permanent superintendent position. The board will be interviewing the two candidates in a public meeting on April 18.
“We'll keep our fingers crossed that we'll do something positive this time and not be on the fence,” said St. Landry Parish School Board Member Charles Ross.
In the interim a resolution was passed to give Interim Superintendent Cassimere a $600 monthly traveling stipend. The subject of giving him a salary raise was shot down.
A moot point now that Cassimere didn't get the raise, but Geralyn Pelican, a paraprofessional at Park Vista, says he deserves it.
“It's a lot of hard work and he's put in for a whole year and hasn't been made superintendent,” said Pelican.
Even with his new stipend Cassimere still makes more than $44,000 less than the last permanent superintendent, but St. Landry School Board Member Candy Gerace says he still isn't superintendent and it would be difficult to give him the superintendent salary and then take it away if he's not elected.
“With the stipend at least while he's continuing acting in his role until the superintendent is selected at least he can get some payment for his out of pocket expenses,” said Gerace.