School Board members approved a new position and the re-hiring of Dr. Michelle Clayton as the Executive Director of Academics and Support Programs, as well as the hiring of Patrick Jenkins as the new Director of Operations over the district.
Clayton and Jenkins were both strong candidates, along with Devillier recently, in the search for Zachary's new superintendent. All three beat out other applicants to proceed to the second phase of the interview process, but Clayton withdrew her name from consideration Oct. 8 leaving Jenkins and Devillier as the final two candidates.
Dr. Clayton previously held a job within the Zachary school district as the Director of Academics and Accountability before leaving to take a position with the Recovery School District in Baton Rouge last year.
Jenkins will assume the role of Director of Operations - Superintendent Devillier's former position - while maintaining his role as Principal of Port Hudson Career Academy.
Jenkins said he will stay on as principal until the end of the school year.
The board also approved several other positions, two resignations and the retirement of Zachary High Dean of Students, Theresa Pelichet.
"She epitomizes class and what it means to be a lady," said ZHS Principal Wes Watts.
Pelichet was honored by Devillier and the school board by receiving a plaque commemorating the occasion. "We love you, and we will miss you," Devillier said.
- In addition, ZHS Senior Elycus Anaya, whose drawing was chosen as this year's district Christmas card, received a framed momento of her drawing and the Christmas card.
Every year a contest is held for elementary students to design a card, but this year it was opened up to include high schoolers.
The ZCSD Christmas Card will be sent to local and state dignitaries and leaders during the holiday season.
- Copper Mill first-year teacher Laura Hitt was the lucky recipient of $100, which was donated by Delta Kappa Gamma, a state organization comprised of active and retired women in education who support local districts and teachers.
Hitt's name was chosen from the 13 new teachers hired this year.
In other school board news:
• The board proposed a new schedule for school board meetings in 2013. Instead of two board meetings every month, the board opted for only one and will meet on the fourth Thursday of every month for a work session at 6 p.m. A 7 p.m. board meeting will follow allowing for agenda items requiring a vote and student, teacher and district personnel honors and presentations.
On the second Thursday of each month, the board will only meet for a work session beginning at 6 p.m.
• The board also approved the low bid from MIS Technology for 44 whiteboards, projectors and projector mounts at $2,100 per unit for Rollins Place Elementary, which is currently under construction.
• The wording was changed and tweaked on 15 school policies including one on bullying and hazing.
Now all district employees - from janitors and cafeteria workers to teachers and guidance counselors - will be accountable for reporting bullying and hazing, not just certified personnel.
In addition, the procedures for reporting bullying have changed, and all district personnel will be required to train for four hours annually on the new procedures.
Devillier said the training would begin upon the district's return from the holiday break.
In Devillier's superintendent report, he said students at Northwestern Middle and ZHS will be taking exams this week before the Christmas and New Year's break, which begins Dec. 21 and lasts until Jan. 7 for teachers and Jan. 8 for students.
Half days for students are set for Wednesday, Dec. 19 - 21.
The next ZCSB meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.