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Grandiere still in the running for general director; board member quits over email

At their monthly meeting, May 14, directors of Lycee Francais cast an eye toward the year ahead and the pending move to a new campus on State Street.

Newly installed board chairman Dr. Jean Montes began with a brief introduction and spoke of the school’s mission before yielding to the board’s treasurer and the school’s interim general director for their most recent briefings.

Board treasurer Hema Banangada said the school is well positioned financially to take charge of the State Street facility, which will accommodate an enrollment estimated at 350. The school is working out final details of a relationship with First NBC bank.

In a subsequent report, interim general director Jean-Jacques Grandiere focused on new personnel hired for the 2012-2013 school year. The lycee has signed up 30 teachers, assistants and secretaries. Thirteen of the teachers have been hired from France.

Grandiere also touched on a partnership with the Audubon Institute to create science classes and other opportunities for students on Audubon Zoo premises. On May 21, from 4-6 p.m., Lycee Francais will host an end-of-the-year event at the zoo for all students, teachers, and parents.

On a 5-2 vote, the board approved a motion to welcome the general director as an ex-officio member, able to contribute to board debate but not vote.

The board then went into executive session to discuss personnel issues, including Grandiere’s future with the school. Members emerged from the closed session to announce that Grandiere was being retained as interim director and is in contention to land the job permanently.

The meeting was nearing adjournment when member Kenneth Charity unexpectedly moved that fellow board member Alan Kelly be removed for having sent an email containing what Charity characterized as a “derogatory” reference to board member Paige Saleun.

Board members were said to have discussed the contretemps in their executive session but had agreed that there were not enough members present to hold a binding vote on Kelly’s ouster.

Charity resigned from the board the next morning, saying that the board had handled Kelly’s email improperly.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 11 in the auditorium.

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