Embattled Spurgeon Banyard calling it quits as Carencro Middle principal _lowres

Carencro Middle School principal Spurgeon Banyard

A Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education committee approved a staff recommendation Tuesday to revoke the educational license of former Carencro Middle School Principal Spurgeon Banyard.

Banyard resigned April 7 from the Lafayette Parish School System after the Louisiana Department of Education suspended his certification for the second time in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the BESE Educator Effectiveness Committee voted to revoke Banyard’s out-of-state principal certification.

The committee’s staff explained the reason for the recommendation to revoke the certification in materials that were made available to committee members as part of the agenda. BESE policy mandates that a certificate be suspended and then revoked by the board if an educator is convicted of a felony and cannot produce documentation that proves otherwise.

In February, the Louisiana Department of Education received information about Banyard’s conviction for embezzlement in 1999 in Hinds County, Mississippi, according to information included with the agenda.

Banyard’s certificate was initially suspended in March — though it was reinstated the next day because his attorney provided documentation that he completed a pre-trial diversion program, said Ken Pastorick, a state education department spokesman.

Banyard’s certificate was suspended again earlier this month because the department received additional information about a separate charge, Pastorick said.

“We lifted the suspension, then received additional information about a charge in a higher court,” Pastorick said in reference to Hinds County state district court records that showed Banyard was convicted of felony embezzlement of $541.

On April 3, Banyard was notified his certificate had been suspended and that BESE would hold a revocation proceeding at its April meeting, Banyard did not provide documentation that negated or reversed his felony conviction to BESE nor the Louisiana Department of Education, staff wrote in its agenda summary.

Notice of Banyard’s more recent suspension was posted April 6 on the state education department’s online certification verification system. Banyard had notified the Lafayette Parish School System that he planned to resign, effective June 17, but moved up his departure to April 7 following his second suspension.

When giving notice of his plans to resign, Banyard told KATC-TV that he decided to leave his job because he was “tired of the negativity” and of “individuals trying to defame my character.”

Last month, Banyard would not confirm that the suspension was related to a felony embezzlement charge. He told The Advocate at the time that the charge had been expunged and said he was wrongly accused of having a criminal record.

Banyard could not be reached for comment.

Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.