OPELOUSAS — St. Landry Parish School Superintendent Michael Nassif has taken a leave of absence and it is unclear whether he will return, School Board members said Wednesday.
Nassif gave notice Tuesday that he was taking sick leave, but the superintendent is also believed to have cleaned out his office Tuesday night, School Board member John Miller said.
Miller said he went to the School Board’s main office on Wednesday for more information but learned little.
“The question was asked was he coming back, and it was, ‘no, he is going to retire,’ ” Miller said.
Assistant Superintendent James Olivier did not return a call Wednesday afternoon seeking comment, but the Opelousas Daily World reported that Supervisor of Personnel Matt Scruggins said Nassif was planning to use all of his accumulated leave.
Board member Quincy Richard also said that he heard few details other than that Nassif was taking leave and was likely retiring.
“I have to respect his wishes and say he was an asset to the system,” Richard said. “I wish him all the luck in the world.”
Miller said he expects a special board meeting to be called this week or next to name an acting superintendent.
Nassif, a longtime school system employee, took the helm as superintendent in 2007.
He announced just a few months into the job that he planned to resign, citing frustrations with what he characterized as a lack of cooperation from some board members and staff.
Nassif ultimately decided to stay and saw the school system through to the end of its long-running federal desegregation case earlier this year.
Miller said he could not speculate on why Nassif might be stepping down this time, other than to say the last few months have been difficult for the school system.
The parish’s state school accountability letter grade was a “D” this year, and the school system is facing financial problems, Miller said.
“It was just not a good situation anymore,” Miller said.
Nassif also faced criticism at a School Board meeting earlier this month by an administrator who alleged that he cut her duties to retaliate against her criticism of the school system’s financial woes.
Nassif could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.