Personnel changes among both directors and faculty of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies were the center of attention as the board board gathered Tuesday for a monthly meeting.
Schools leader Ben Kleban said more teachers than expected had taken up his offer to move to Crocker Elementary.
Five or six teachers from Sylvanie Williams Elementary will move to Crocker in the fall, joining the six teachers who remain there. This leaves two teaching positions to fill, plus five or six support-staff jobs.
“We’re in good shape, especially for May,” Kleban said.
Across NOCP’s network of four schools (counting Crocker) there are 30 staff vacancies left to fill, out of about 170 positions in total. Kleban said a second staffer had been added to the recruitment department to assist with the hiring.
“Is our staff aging up a little bit?” board member Ruth Kullman asked. She noted that the organization initially had one of the youngest staffs in the city, on average.
“We’re becoming less and less heavily proportioned with Teach for America and TeachNola,” Kleban answered. “We’ve been able to diversify more.”
Kleban said he was trying to move the organization away from the days when the only way for a teachers to draw a higher salary was to become an administrator. That was a disincentive to stay in the classroom, Kleban said, adding that he hoped to offer good teachers competitive salaries for doing what they do best.
The governance committee, led by Secretary Murray Pitts, announced the names of prospective board members. The list included Crocker board members Stephen Boyard and Shaun Rafferty, who were both present, as well as Grisela Jackson, Drew Goodwin, and Barbara MacPhee.
MacPhee was voted onto the board earlier this year. The other four await approval from the board’s current members.
The board also announced the slate of prospective officers for next year, as follows: Peter Harding as president; Jim Raby as vice president; Drew Goodwin as treasurer, and Shaun Rafferty as secretary.
On a sad note, the board announced the death of founding board chairman Hal Brown. Members and staff expressed their condolences and respect for the hard work Brown put into developing the organization.
Present at the meeting were vice chair Monica Edwards, treasurer Harding, Raby, and director of development Geneva Longlois-Marney. Also present were a group of alumni from Booker T. Washington High School. Chairman Kenneth Polite was absent as was MacPhee.
The meeting ended at 6:37 p.m.