March 18, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is an honor for me to serve as your superintendent while the Ascension Parish School Board searches for our next leader. For 35 years I have worked alongside amazing teachers and staff who are committed to our parish and its students. Never has their dedication been more evident than during the recent severe weather and flood waters. Even though we purposefully build in extra days in the academic calendar to accommodate weather events, making the tough decision to close schools certainly puts a strain on their work to keep students on task and parents' ability to balance work and child care. Nevertheless, we will always err on the side of student and employee safety.
What many people may not know is that we had several employees who worked throughout the weather event coordinating with emergency officials, checking on our school properties, driving around to assess flooded roads and devising safe bus routes so that we could resume school as quickly as possible. I would like to acknowledge their work as well all who made adjustments in curriculum plans, testing, school activities and after school events.
Some of our teachers and staff, as well as many of you, are dealing with damage to homes and properties. We will continue to support all during this difficult time. The Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) is facilitating damage assessments. If you or someone you know has experienced flood damage, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 225-621-8360.SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH
I would also like to update you on the search for a new superintendent. The Ascension Parish School Board selected a national search firm, Ray and Associates
, to assist in facilitating an open and inclusive search for our next superintendent. These national experts in school administrator searches will help guide the Board through this very important process, which will include the following:
- Gather input from constituents (employees, parents, community members and general public) on what qualities they would like to see in a new superintendent,
- Advertise and recruit qualified candidates,
- Screen applications and perform background checks, and
- Facilitate public input during the interview and selection process.
Please note, the School Board has always conducted a national search for a superintendent per Board Rules. The use of a search firm is to help facilitate a process in which we fully expect to have widespread interest due to the national attention gained by our district's achievements and high profile position of our former superintendent Patrice Pujol. It is anticipated that there will be very strong internal and external candidates for this position.
The goal is to have a new superintendent in place this summer in time to transition before the start of a new school year. Your engagement throughout the search process will be vital as the Board embarks on one of its most important decisions that will shape the future of our district.
A. Denise Graves
Ascension Public Schools