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Six people recommended for new Lycée Français board

The committee charged with finding new members for the board of directors of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school selected six people Thursday night. But because they fell one shy of the seven required, they have reopened the application process until April 19.

The committee interviewed 13 of the 29 applicants over three nights. (The Lens live-blogged each night.) Jeff Teague, head of the committee, will present the slate of six to the board on Monday. The board must decide to accept all or none, according to Lee Reid, an attorney for the school.

Thursday night, each of the five committee members wrote his top choices on a chalkboard.

Four people made everyone’s lists — Mary Jacobs Jones, Erin Greenwald, Tim Gray and Alysson Mills — and were approved in one motion. After discussion, Elizabeth Rhodes and Ben Castoriano were added separately.

Current board member and parent Paige Saleun attended the meeting. She usually voiced her opinion as a parent, but at one point she appeared to speak for the current board.

It happened when the committee members were discussing whether to add more people to their first four picks. “As a board member, if you put any of these other people I might vote to turn it down,” Saleun said.

She continued, saying if the committee added people just to meet the minimum number required by state law, then “I don’t know if the board would approve that.”

Attorney Robert Rachal responded, “I don’t know if you can speak for the board, Paige.” Rachal represents parents who have raised concerns about the board’s governance and called for Saleun to recuse herself from the board while a lawsuit is pending against her, fellow member Jean Montes and the school.

Saleun then said she had been speaking for herself.

After the meeting, Reid said that the new members would start “immediately” if the board approves the slate. All of the current members’ terms will expire June 30 unless they re-apply.

Reid also said the vote to add members would be the last item on Monday’s agenda.

For complete coverage of the 13 interviews and committee deliberations, see The Lens’ live coverage below.

Thursday’s live blog

Thursday’s candidates:

  • Mary Jacobs Jones, project director at The New Teacher Project
  • Alysson Mills, attorney at Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley Willis & Swanson LLC
  • C. Kathleen Whalen, director of program and professional development at Partnership for Youth Development

Wednesday’s live blog

Wednesday’s candidates:

  • Mary Hines, learning commons coordinator and assistant professor at Loyola University’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library
  • Tim Gray, attorney at Forman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy LLP
  • Terry Christenson, associate professor at Tulane University
  • Malcolm McLetchie, self-employed tax consultant
  • Elizabeth Rhodes, assistant professor at Southeastern Louisiana University
  • L. Olivia Sweetnam, director of infection prevention and control at Ochsner Heath System

Tuesday’s live blog

Tuesday’s candidates:

  • Erin Greenwald, historian and curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Ben Castoriano, attorney at Frilot LLC
  • Kimberly Baptiste, accountant at Bruno & Tervalon LLP
  • Gypsye Bryan, executive director of school leadership and instruction for East Baton Rouge Parish schools
  • *Nolan Marshall III with the Downtown Development District and founder of Common Good

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About Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.

  • nickelndime

    Six people (of 29 + 2) made everybody’s (i.e., the Nominating Committee) list the first time around. Then the short list of six was expanded to 15. On Thursday evening, a slate of six (“Four people made everyone’s lists” + 2) was selected by the Nominating Board, “But because they fell one shy of the seven required, they have reopened the application process until April 19,” and Lee Reid says, “The board must decide to accept all or none.” Well, there you have it, folks. Who in the hell is in control? Even a dog can count the number of cookies in front of it, (hello, LDOE-BESE-White-Bendily-Office of Parental Options, et al.-Roemer Shirley-Hunnewell, and oh yes, Lee C. Reid of Adams and Reese LLP), even if it is by touching each cookie with its nose. This whole process stinks. Forget the slate – throw out the ticket mandate. Have the board (or what is left of it) vote for individual prospective board members, if that is what it takes. “The Nominating Committee must remain intact” (says who? Reid). Well, Reid is making a lot of money (public money) off of his bad advice.

  • Hey 5&10, it turns out they did vote down the slate and voted up or down for the individual board members. I would have preferred a majority yes vote for the slate, or at least yes votes for all the nominees. But you can’t say anybody tells this Board what to do.

  • ET

    the board got 5 of the 6 on tghe slate of candidates, thanks to Henderson’s voting to stay there last night until the candidates were approved. He tried to go with the slate, but when that failed, he voted correctly. But, there is more drama in the works. Watch for the next committee meeting.
    Should we push for a transition committee with Henderson on it? He can give us the real story and how to prevent another occurance.