NAPOLEONVILLE — Discussion by Assumption Parish School Board members Wednesday on an open teaching position quickly led to a debate on how the system works to prepare and assist its teachers.
During the board’s regular meeting, board member Lee Meyer asked if an eighth-grade math teaching position at Napoleonville Middle School had been filled.
When Human Resources Director Tootie Hock said that a substitute teacher was temporarily in the position, Meyer asked why the position had not been filled by a full-time certified teacher.
Hock said that interviews were taking place to fill the position with a full-time teacher certified in math.
The position opened after a teacher hired to fill the job resigned after two weeks on the job, Superintendent Earl “Tibby” Martinez said.
He added that the teacher was one of two who applied for the position when it opened the first time.
The substitute teacher, who previously taught the class, is not certified in math, Hock said.
Board member Doris Dugas said she felt that a certified teacher, if available, should be placed in a position vacated by another certified teacher.
Martinez said the decision to hire a teacher is up to a school’s principal, and Martinez will not force a principal to fill a position.
“I don’t care if they’re certified or not. If I don’t have a good teacher to run that classroom, I’m not putting a teacher in that classroom if the principal doesn’t want them,” he said.
Meyer asked whether the position was offered to any teachers who wished to transfer to the school.
Hock replied that even if a teacher requested a transfer, the decision fell to the school’s principal to determine whether the principal wanted that teacher at the school.
“If the principal doesn’t want that teacher, I will not honor that transfer request,” Hock said.
Meyer said that with recent resignations in the school system since the start of classes, he thought that administrators are not giving teachers the necessary resources.
“We’re not giving them the assistance that they need,” Meyer said. “I’m begging the central office to start working with the teachers.”
Martinez said that his staff offers numerous outlets to help teachers, and also said that principals must also address any concerns they may have with teachers.