On Monday, May 14, the Acadia Parish School Board opened into special session to hear the three candidates vying for the role of Superintendent of Acadia Parish Schools. With a room full of educators, concerned citizens and central office staff; the three candidates: Alan Blanchard, Scott Richard, and Ralph Thibodeaux fielded questions from the eight Acadia Parish School Board members.
Alan Blanchard, Jr. is currently serving as the Director of Human Resources, Operations, and Transportation in St. Martin Parish School System. Hailing from a farming family, Blanchard touted his experience in all aspects of the educational system from teaching to transportation/bussing.
Ralph D. Thibodeaux introduced himself to the board and distributed to them packets he prepared which included his 60-90 day plan. A native of Acadia Parish, he is currently the Superintendent of Louisiana Special Schools. Thibodeaux spoke of his experience working with disadvantaged student across the state of Louisiana.
Scott Richard has served six years as Executive Director of the Louisiana School Boards Association. A military veteran, Richard lauded his experience in the classroom working for the special school district, where he not only taught, but worked in administration with students not eligible for the jail system yet a ward of the state. He also served 9 years on the St. Landry Parish school Board.
Upon conclusion of the last candidate, the Board Members moved into executive session. After 30 minutes of deliberation, the group reconvened into the special session.
Each board member was distributed a paper ballot with all 3 candidates’ names on it. They were instructed to check the person for whom they were to vote for and sign their name.
While the vote were collected, President James Higginbotham thanked the candidates and lauded how impressed he was with each of them. He opened and read the votes. In a unanimous vote, the Acadia Parish School Board Members elected Scott Richard as the new Superintendent of Acadia Parish Schools.
Richard thanked the Board, saying he was humbled to be selected.
He stated, “I intend to uphold the standards of the Acadia Parish School system. Thank you Mr. Bourque for your years in the school system. I look forward to working with each and every one of you.”
The Board President, James Higginbotham, and Vice-President, Delo Hebert, will meet with Richard to discuss terms of agreement in the coming days, a decision which will be ratified at a future board meeting. Richard is set to assume the new role mid-June upon the retirement of Superintendent John E. Bourque.