AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish School Board unanimously approved Tuesday night the appointment of Theresa Hamilton as the system’s new chief desegregation officer.
The appointment is subject to the approval of U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, who oversees the district’s 46-year-old desegregation suit.
The job of the desegregation officer is to supervise all implementation aspects of the system’s court-approved desegregation plan, according to court documents.
Hamilton, who has been serving for a week in an interim capacity, will succeed Lynell Higgenbotham, who abruptly resigned Aug. 5.
Other business before the board included:
NEW FISCAL COMMITTEE: The board’s Finance Committee voted to send four nominations for an as-yet unformed Fiscal Advisory Committee to the full board.
The four nominees, who will serve on a voluntary basis, are certified public accountants who have experience with governmental accounting, said Bret Schnadelbach, the system’s chief financial officer.
The four nominees are Walter Antin Jr., a Hammond lawyer; David Danel, a Hammond accountant; Nicole Dillon, who practices law with the Hammond firm of Seale and Ross; and Lee Gray, an accountant from Amite.
TEACHER OF YEAR: The board recognized Rebecka Rocquin, a biology teacher at Ponchatoula High School, who was presented the 2011 Louisiana Outstanding Biology Teacher Award by the National Association of Biology Teachers.
Rocquin has secured several grants for her students and school, said Melissa Stilley, chief academic officer for Tangipahoa schools.
PUPIL PROGRESSION: The district will no longer force students to repeat kindergarten through third grades if they are failing, according to the system’s new pupil progression plan approved Tuesday night.
The school system will promote all children in those grades, but “with interventions,” if warranted, said Gwen Myers, a supervisor of curriculum and instruction for the parish’s schools.
Students in grades five through seven could be held back if they meet certain criteria and it is recommended by a committee, the plan states.
Students who fail to meet state criteria in grades four and eight will be retained according to state guidelines, the policy states.