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Kelly resigns; Grandiere appointed to permanent top spot

After much controversy, embattled Lycée Francais board member, Allen Kelly, has resigned from his post.

The board of Lycée Francais accepted Kelly’s resignation at a specially called June 1 board meeting. It also appointed the school’s interim general director, Jean-Jacques Grandiere, to the general director position.

After the public release of an email Kelly wrote about fellow board member Paige Saleun that other board members called “derogatory,” Kelly endured much chastisement and scrutiny from the board. Several board members called for his resignation, despite his written apology to the board. Another board member, Kenneth Charity, even resigned after a motion to remove Kelly failed at the board’s May meeting.

Jean Montes, board president, said at the Friday meeting that he had “no choice but to force Allen Kelly to resign from the board.” Montes called Kelly’s behavior “intolerable.”

“From now on, board members must adhere and will be held accountable for all their actions,” Montes said. “All acts that negatively impact the school will be dealt with severely.”

Kelly said in May that he didn’t think his behavior warranted a resignation, according to a report in the Uptown Messenger.

In addition to accepting Kelly’s resignation, the board unanimously voted to appoint Grandiere as the school’s permanent general director.

Montes said after the consideration of nine “excellent” candidates, Grandiere, who has served as interim general director for the last two months, was the most suitable to lead the school forward. The board also thanked Grandiere for his help during its candidate search.

“I want to thank the parents, staff and the community that has supported the school all year long,” Grandier said to the 15-person audience. He also spoke of the challenges ahead as the school moves into a new building and expands to 350 students next year.

The rest of the meeting was devoted to governance issues. The board announced the creation of four committees: the academic excellence committee, finance committee, development committee and governance committee. Each committee will comprise six people: two board members, a director, two community members and a president.

Committees will have open meetings and will meet on the first Friday of the month.

Montes said interested parents or community members should send a statement of intent to Grandiere added that the board should consider adding a fifth committee, a long-term planning board, to help with strategic planning.

The board also discussed a possible partnership with High Bar, a charter school support organization, to help strengthen board governance. The cost of the program is $7000. Montes asked board members to put up $1000 each to pay for the cost.

The board will discuss the matter further at its June 11 meeting.


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