Linda Nance decides to stay at the helm of Acadian Middle School; other administrative changes in the Lafayette district are still in the works _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Acadian Middle School Principal Linda Nance gives a hug to Student Latasha Hernandez in January 2015 in Lafayette.

Linda Nance is staying put as principal of Acadian Middle School.

Nance came out of retirement to lead the school in early 2013 and submitted her resignation earlier this summer. She reconsidered her decision as the effective date of her resignation drew closer, Nance said Tuesday.

“I felt like I had some unfinished business left to do at Acadian Middle,” said Nance, an educator with more than 20 years of experience.

Under her leadership, the school made double-digit gains in its school performance scores in 2014 to boost its letter grade from the state from a D to a C. In the upcoming school year, the campus will start “Leader In Me,” a character development and leadership program. The launch of the program played a role in her decision to remain the school’s principal, she said.

“That was the driving force that helped me change my mind,” she said. “I knew that before I resigned, but when it got closer, I decided I wanted to be a part of that.

“We were also able to hire some good applicants for our teaching and para-educator positions. I feel that we have a great staff in place for next year, and it wasn’t the right time after all.”

The Acadian Middle principal position was one of many open for applications this summer following retirements and administrative shifts within the school system. Some of the administrative changes are due to new Superintendent Donald Aguillard’s reorganization of the central office. One of those changes eliminated the school system’s academic officer positions — educators who served as liaisons between the central office and schools. One of those academic officers, Virginia Rabalais, also was recently appointed acting adult education specialist. The adult education specialist position was previously held by Robin Olivier, who is now the school system’s career and technical education and schools of choice supervisor. That position was previously held by Joe Craig, who is now the school system’s chief operations officer, a position created as part of Aguillard’s reorganization.

Announcements are expected soon for two more principal positions: Lafayette Middle and Paul Breaux Middle.

Donald Thornton, prior Lafayette Middle principal, was recently selected as principal of Lafayette High School following the retirement of Patrick Leonard.

Paul Breaux Middle is seeking a new leader following the retirement of Loretta Caldwell.

Earlier this month, a new principal for Alice Boucher Elementary was announced — Renee White. Former principal Annette Samec was named the school system’s chief academic officer, another position created as part of Aguillard’s reorganization plan.

Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.