School Board says goodbye to 2 long-serving members
Two long-time members of the St. Charles Parish School Board attended their last board meeting this month.
Mary Bergeron of District 2 and Stephen Crovetto of District 7 did not seek re-election this year and will be replaced in January. Bergeron had served on the board for 22 years and Crovetto had been a member for 12 years. The two gave emotional speeches during the meeting thanking fellow board members for their help and friendship over the years.
When Bergeron originally ran for the School Board in 1987, it was in the midst of uncertainty for her district.
“A group of us had become disillusioned with the person who represented us at that time and we recalled him. When we were petitioning people to sign the recall petition…a lot of people approached me and asked me to run,” Bergeron said.
Before being named to the board, she had no experience in education aside from being a parent of two elementary school children and president of the Parent-Teacher Association.
She took her seat on the board in 1988 and District 2 has continued to re-elect her for the past 22 years.
“I want to thank the people of District 2 for taking a chance on me 22 years ago and staying with me through the years,” Bergeron said during her last board meeting on Dec. 8.
She said that while members of the board, public and faculty have accomplished a lot since she took her seat on the board, there is one accomplishment that stands out.
“If I have to pick one I’m always going to choose the Satellite Center because we thought outside of the box when we decided to have that,” Bergeron said. “But I don’t think any of us would ever tell you that we’ve accomplished everything we wanted to do, that’s why I’m so pleased that Melinda Bernard will be representing District 2 because I think she brings a lot of experience and a willingness to serve.”
Next year, Bergeron said she plans to take a step back from the school district.
“In the short term, I need to just let Ms. Bernard settle in and do her job and not interfere with that,” she said.
Melinda Huff-Bernard will take the District 2 seat on the board in January.
Crovetto also said that he plans to spend some time away from the board next year.
While Crovetto said at the meeting that he would be more than happy to help the board with anything they need in the future, he plans to devote most of his time to his turf services business and to stay active in the community.
“I plan on continuing running and hopefully expanding in the next few years,” he said. “That business will take up a majority of my time.”
Crovetto joined the board in 1998 after teaching and coaching in the district.
“My main motivation in running was that I had spent my whole life in education, either going to school, teaching or coaching…and I really missed being involved in education and this was just another avenue in which I could be involved,” Crovetto said.
He said his greatest accomplishment on the board was participating and being an active member throughout his 12 years.
“I think my greatest accomplishment is really just being a contributing member of the board…and working with the board to move the school system forward along with the superintendent,” he said.
Art Aucoin will take Crovetto’s seat in January.
During the Dec. 8 meeting, the board also unanimously voted Ellis Alexander as the 2011 board president and Alex Suffrin as the vice president. The two ran for the positions unopposed. Alexander is replacing Dennis Naquin as president and Suffrin is taking the place of Alexander as vice president.
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