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Quorum should be easier for Lycée committee following member’s resignation

A member of the committee charged with finding Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans’ next interim CEO resigned Thursday, changing the composition of the committee from six to five people.

The change makes it easier for the committee to make a quorum as it attempts to meet an aggressive deadline of recommending a hire to the full board by June 30.

Carol Asher emailed her resignation to board member Erin Greenwald Thursday about two and a half hours before the committee planned to meet a third time this week for the purposes of an interview.

“I will be out of town for a number of days and realize your time crunch in hiring an interim CEO,” Asher wrote in the email.

Asher’s decision came a day after the committee met twice in 24 hours without a quorum present. Despite the lack of quorum, members voted each time to go into executive session to interview three job candidates.

During Thursday’s meeting, the committee had four people present, a required quorum. Members met in executive session for 90 minutes interviewing Keith Bartlett, former principal of John Dibert School.

Following the executive session, Greenwald reported that the committee had received additional applications for the interim CEO position. She said that she would be sharing those applications with committee members and the media. The committee would likely hold a meeting over the weekend to discuss the applicants.

Greenwald said that committee members had to check their schedules, but that she would announce the meeting ahead of time “according to law.”

During the executive session, however, parents and a Lycée staff member talked about a recent story by The Lens explaining how the school racked up $8,440 in legal fees over the course of one month for lawyers to respond to public records requests.

“If it gets to be much more than $8,500 a month, then that concerns me,” said Darren Beltz, a stay-at-home dad and Lycée parent. “On the other hand, ever since the attorney has come in the board has run much smoother with policies and procedures.”

The board may no longer need those attorneys to be present at meetings, due to the fact that there are now a few attorneys on the board, said Julianne Ruocco, the school’s director of finance and operations.

However, she said that issues with open meetings law could be avoided if lawyers always attended.

“That’s why its good to have attorneys present,” she said. “It’s good to know all the laws.”

Besides Greenwald, Tim Gray, Alysson Mills and Kelly McClure attended the meeting.

Charter schools reporter Marta Jewson contributed to this report.

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About Della Hasselle

Della Hasselle, a freelance journalist and producer, reports environmental and criminal justice stories for The Lens. A graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Hasselle lived in New York for 10 years. While up north, she produced and anchored news segments, wrote feature stories and reported breaking news for, a hyperlocal news site. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News. She obtained her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She can be reached at (917) 304-6121.

  • Joy Van Buskirk

    Bravo for Carol Asher in taking the responsible position of resigning from the CEO Search
    Committee because of other commitments. That is a step in the right direction.

    Not having a CEO at this time of the year could prove quite damaging for the school. I understand that only six out of eighteen French teachers are returning to LFNO, and that the current interim CEO has decided to hire non-certified French teachers. I have also heard that Codofil is not sending additional French teachers to offset the teachers that have left – twelve, and any additional teachers that might be needed. Would someone correct me if I am wrong, as it seems that if this is the case, the current administrative leadership would be ignoring the mission of the school to become accredited, and create a French Bacc. in the future?

  • nickelndime

    What part of the message, ATTORNEYS/LAW FIRMS SHOULD NOT RUN THESE CHARTER SCHOOLS, is not getting across to these nonprofit charter boards?!! They cannot even reply to a request to inspect public records (much less ones put together by THE LENS), nor can the charter school administrators – CEO, CFO, COO, CAO (who BTW are being grossly overpaid with public funds). Wake up!

  • AmyGeorge

    Joyous–At the last Board meeting, Ms. Schexnider stated that she was working closely with CODOFIL to get us the excellent teachers CODOFIL provides. Mr. Dunn was in attendance and I had opportunity to speak with him after the meeting. He indicated that we would have additional teachers. I think we have one more year to work this out!

  • Joy Van Buskirk

    Thanks Amy. I am glad to hear that teachers from France will be part of the 1013-14 academic school year. That keeps accreditation and the possibility of a French Bacc alive. Great news for the children, and also for the parents.