CLINTON — East Feliciana Parish School Superintendent Douglas Beauchamp told the School Board on Tuesday he is not asking for a new contract and will retire when his three-year term ends June 30.
Beauchamp’s announcement came as the board was scheduled to decide whether to offer him a new contract or notify him that it would seek a new superintendent.
Board President Michael Bradford thanked Beauchamp for his service and said the board would begin the process of hiring a new superintendent at the December meeting.
Beauchamp said he has been in education for 53 years, including his 12 years as a student in parish schools and four years at LSU, and watched the parish school system evolve from small, segregated rural schools to an integrated and consolidated system.
The parish’s school performance scores are the highest they have ever been, but “there is no one silver bullet” for school improvements, he said.
Three elements are needed for a successful system, Beauchamp said, including “strong, dedicated faculties and staffs” who communicate with the students. The actions of people who run the school system is another element, he said.
Successful school systems enjoy the support of the entire community, “not just the people who send their kids to the schools,” Beauchamp said.
When students in successful systems are corrected for some reasons, their parents also “don’t automatically assume the school system is at fault,” Beauchamp said.
The board, which has eight new members, gave Beauchamp a score of 70 out of 120 possible points on his annual performance evaluation earlier this year. Until then, he said, he had never been given less than 115 points.
Other topics discussed during the meeting included:
FIVE-DAY WEEK: Board member Olivia Harris attempted to get a vote taken on returning to classes Monday through Friday. Harris and several other board members questioned the savings of a four-day week and suggested parents favor a five-day week.
The board instead adopted a substitute motion to get concrete figures on the cost of returning to five-day weeks, with Ben Cupit, Paul Kent, Mitch Harrell, Bradford, Broderick Brooks, Rhonda Matthews, Richard Terrell and Rufus Nesbit in the majority.
Harris, Debra Haynes, Henry Howell V and Melvin Hollins opposed the substitute motion.
MOVING SCHOOL: After hearing a report on the facilities available at the old Clinton Middle School, which was closed with consolidation last year, the board backed away from Harris’ idea of moving Clinton Elementary to the site.
“I just don’t see, unless you add some buildings, that it’s feasible,” Beauchamp said.