St. Charles Herald-Guide

New school superintendent won’t mess with success

By Kyle Barnett - August 15, 2013

After a change in leadership at St. Charles Parish Public Schools, not a whole lot else is expected to change in the school system.

Felecia Gomez-Walker attended her first meeting as superintendent of the school system last week. Gomez-Walker said she hopes to continue the success of the previous administration by pushing programs already in place.

“We are not going to change directions. We were successful last year, we were very successful in student achievement,” she said. “We received several accolades including Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year for Louisiana, so we have many points of success we really want to continue.”

In addition to garnering the top awards for school personnel in the statewide contest, St. Charles Parish Public Schools also again broke into the top five school systems in the state.

Gomez-Walker said her plans for the school system are in line with those laid out by her predecessor, Dr. Rodney Lafon, who served 18 years at the school system’s superintendent.

“My plan first of all is to ensure that we have a smooth transition between Dr. Lafon and myself and then I really want to focus on the integrity of maintaining the foundation that has already been put in place,” she said.

In striving to continue the success of the past, the school district has just rolled out phase seven of the long-range strategic plan. The three-year process calls for goals to be met in the areas of teaching and assessment, finance, recruitment and selection, technology, physical facilities and education and support services.

Gomez-Walker said a large part of the plan includes increasing the focus on individual students, something the school system calls data team planning.

“We talk about looking at every child every single day, the data team process lets us look at student achievement of every child,” she said. “So when we determine that students are falling below the level of satisfactory performance we interventions in place in order to provide them with the support that they need to be successful.”

Gomez-Walker said she is optimistic that under her reign St. Charles Parish Public Schools will continue its goal to provide the best education possible for the parish’s students.

“We have many points of success we really want to continue,” Gomez-Walker said.