ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana School Board on Tuesday officially appointed Jovanka Ganes as principal at West Feliciana Middle School and Andrea Mathis as principal at Baines Lower Elementary School.
Ganes has served as interim principal since Ben Necaise resigned to take a job with the state Department of Education. Prior to that appointment, Ganes had been assistant principal since 2006 and a counselor at the school from 1999 to 2006. She has been with the school district since 1988 and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern University.
After the unanimous vote, Ganes told the school board, “Thank you all. It was a very rigorous interview process, and I’m honored to have been selected. I accepted because I love it here, and I want to grow professionally. Parents send their kids to our schools for two reasons: because they want the best education we can give them and they want them to be safe each and every day. I look forward to working with my staff and teachers. I look forward to this opportunity.”
Mathis has served as an assistant principal at Dufrocq School in Baton Rouge since July 2009. Previously, she was an assistant principal and speech language pathologist at Northeast Elementary School in Pride. She also worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a year and was a special education teacher/site facilitator at Glen Oaks Park Elementary Magnet in Baton Rouge. She also has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern University.
“I’m honored to be principal of Baines Elementary,” said Mathis. “I look forward to working with the teachers, staff, parents and community stake holders, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”
Superintendent Hollis Milton praised both educators.
“Ms. Ganes was at the middle school when it first started and she’s been an integral piece in its development. And she’s been a big part of all its successes,” he said. “Ms. Mathis has been a star teacher and administrator for a number of years. And she brings a wealth of experience to Baines Lower.
“They are both community oriented, teacher friendly and family oriented. They are assets to our schools.”