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Ray StPierre

The Jefferson Parish School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to rename the Marrero Academy for Advanced Studies after former board member Ray St. Pierre, who died in July.

The board voted to waive its policy that calls for a 30-day period of public submissions of names for a school.

The motion to rename the school came from member Cedric Floyd.

Former board member Etta Licciardi tearfully encouraged the board to support the change. "My only regret is that I can't vote on this tonight for a very important man," she said.

Before being elected to the School Board in 1998, Pierre made his name as a West Bank math teacher and coach who was an assistant coach on John Ehret High School's state title football team in 1981.

Four years later, he was the head coach when the school claimed another state title.

He eventually put down the clipboard in an official capacity, though as a board member he could frequently be seen patrolling the sideline, offering critiques and suggestions to the current players and staff at Ehret, where he was a widely respected figure.

The Marrero Academy for Advanced Studies serves about 350 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

It will be the second facility in the Jefferson school system named for St. Pierre. The athletics complex at Ehret already bears his name.

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.