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Board approves Keller’s retirement

Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / July 17, 1998

EDGARD – Leroy Keller, principal of West St. John High School, requestedthe St. John the Baptist Parish School Board grant his retirement request.With sad hesitation, the board did so Thursday evening.

“That man showed me he was a leader when he was at Godchaux Junior High,” board member Felix “Pappy” LeBouef said.

“I hate to see Mr. Keller go,” board member Richard DeLong said. “He’sbeen one of the highlights of being on the board.”Superintendent Cleveland Farlough recommended Glenda Gaudet for the position of interim principal.

A motion to accept Farlough’s recommendation was made by Leroy Mitchell and seconded by James Madere. The board voted unanimously.”I have a lot of confidence in her,” Farlough said. “She wants to see theschool move forward and will work very hard.”Gaudet was named interim principal because Keller’s request for retirement was so sudden and, with the school year about to begin, the school system didn’t have time to advertise the position. She will serve asinterim principal until an official appointment is made.

Gaudet, who has been assistant principal at the high school for the past five years, said she has a lot of work to do to continue with Keller’s standards. “I have big shoes to fill,” she said. “I pledge my allegiance toeveryone that West St. John will continue to prosper.”Also at the meeting, the board voted to accept Farlough’s recommendation on several assistant principal appointments. Lydia Bazile will beassistant principal at Fifth Ward Elementary, Preston Poche at Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet School, Ken Landry at LeonGodchaux Junior High School, Shirley Trench at John L. Ory CommunicationArts Magnet School and Connie Dickerson at East St. John High School.Farlough feels pleased with the selection of assistant principals. “I knowthese people and if they continue what they have been doing they will have a bright future with the St. John School System,” he said.The new president of the St. John Association of Educators, HermanClayton, was also introduced at the meeting. Clayton, an electrician forthe school system, will serve as SJAE’s new president.

He said he hopes the union and the board will work together to make the school system the best in the state.

“I hope we can move this system into a position where the state and colleagues recognize it as the best in the state,” he said.

Photo: Retired WSJ principal

Photo by Leroy Keller.

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