The Livingston Parish School Board on Thursday evening officially accepted the retirement of Assistant Superintendent Tommy Cothern, whose 34-year tenure with the system ended last week.

For the past year, Cothern has been working to establish Torus, a technical school that will teach computer programming, coding and software development. Graduates of the full-time, two-year program will earn a certificate of completion and learn a variety of programming languages, according to the school’s website at Cothern plans to have students complete projects such as developing their own apps or computer programs.

Torus is expected to open in Hammond in July, and Cothern will serve as director. Former Livingston Parish Superintendant Bill Spear will be the school’s assistant director and dean of recruiting.

“It’s an exciting time for me,” Cothern said in a phone interview.

“It’s going to be such a unique school,” he said. “The demand for these people — once they have the knowledge base — is unbelievable.”

In other news, the Livingston Parish school system introduced the proposed schedule for the upcoming school year. First-semester classes will begin Aug. 7 and conclude Dec. 18, according to the proposal. Students will return for the second semester Jan. 7 and finish May 23.

Electronic cigarettes will be rolled into schools’ smoking policies under a set of amendments introduced Tuesday evening. Spurred by state legislation, the new policies, if passed, will ban personal vaporizers and similar devices on school grounds.

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