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School Board Member wants to extend Superintendent's contract

4 years 10 months 11 hours ago Tuesday, December 16 2014 Dec 16, 2014 December 16, 2014 4:15 PM December 16, 2014 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto and Trey Schmaltz

BATON ROUGE- School board member Mary Lynch is proposing the school board discuss a possible extension of Superintendent Bernard Taylor's contract for another year.

Lynch said she did not have all of the facts when she voted, and she should have abstained back in June.

"It's unfinished business for me," Lynch said. "I need to go back for closure sake and finish this out."

Lynch sent an email to David Tatman, the board's president, and Tarvald Smith, the vice president, shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, asking that the item be added. It appears, Lynch wants the board to discuss keeping Taylor on beyond the end of his contract, which is set to expire in June of 2015.

"Our numbers have come back up," Lynch said. "As a district, we have moved forward with that under his leadership for the last three years, we've seen growth."

Lynch is new to the board; she was appointed in May to fill the seat held by Randy Lamana. Lamana died of an apparent heart attack in April. Lynch represents the extreme northeast area of East Baton Rouge Parish on the school board.

In June of 2014, the board voted not to renew or extend his contract. The split was amicable, Taylor even told the board he did not wish to stay.

"There's work to be done and it will be done and [on] June 30, 2015, I'll move on to somewhere else and be just fine," he said in June 2014.

Taylor, described as combative, often times was at odds with the school board. In February, the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana told WBRZ News, teachers who publicly complained about issues were intimidated by school system chiefs and that Taylor was the ring leader.

"Teachers that speak out are met with retaliation, intimidation, bullying tactics from Dr. Bernard Taylor, including personal phone calls," APEL Director Keith Courville said in an interview with WBRZ on February 11, 2014.

Mark Bellue defeated Lynch in the School Board race. He released the following statement:

"It would be more appropriate, and in the best interests of our school system, for the new board to make decisions regarding the superintendent with whom we will be working," Bellue said. "It's certainly a decision too important to be made by an outgoing board as a last minute agenda item."

The item will be addressed at the next school board meeting which is Thursday evening.

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