The District 2 School Board seat will be decided this week when Robert Faucheux and Raymond Gregson, both of Luling, face off in the contest to represent the area.
Gregson secured 31 percent of the vote and Faucheux earned 29 percent of votes in the initial November election.
Gregson said his wide array of experience is one thing that qualifies him as the better candidate for the school board seat.
“I’ve been a business owner, worked in the school services industry, served as a professional and college baseball umpire, and currently own a digital marketing firm,” he said. “I am a parent, which the St. Charles Parish School Board currently does not have on the board.”
Gregson said as a digital marketing firm owner he has an acute knowledge of communicating using modern digital platforms and traditional communication methods.
“I know how to reach the right audience and which data points to use as metrics to get the most out of the communication efforts,” he said. “I have experience responding to negative online feedback and solving problems. Additionally, as an umpire, it is my job to uphold the integrity of the game. I must be trustworthy, impartial, dedicated, and have the highest integrity. I will bring these skills to my service on the St. Charles Parish School Board.”
Gregson said he provided tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 interventions to students in Jefferson Parish, Orleans, and Charter Schools with his work in the school services industry.
“I had to work with the school and district staff to analyze student data, develop individualized reading and math programs, track progress, and communicate results with parents and school and district administrators,” he said. “I have a personal interest in preserving and improving the quality and safety of our school system. I am the father of three SCPPS students, and my wife is an educator at JB Martin Middle.”
Gregson said what sets him apart from Faucheux is his experience with education policy.
“Most recently, I spoke at the Louisiana BESE accountability meeting, defending our students and parents,” he said. “I have my finger on the pulse. I am the only candidate actively involved in our schools, attending student events such as talent theatre, student awards, and athletic events.”
Pre-COVID Gregson also mentored in the school district. Gregson is a member of several local community organizations, including the River Region Chamber of Commerce, St. Charles Parish Rotary Club, HHS Touchdown Club, HHS Dugout Club, National PTA, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Sports Officials, Ashton Plantation Homeowners Association, Grand Ridge Golf Club, World Baseball and Softball Confederation. He has served on many leadership positions in those organizations.
Gregson added that he has endorsements from current school board members Melinda Bernard, Jay Robichaux, and Sonny Savoie. He said he is also being endorsed by Barbara Fuselier, The New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors®, and the St. Charles Parish Republican Executive Committee.
He added that there are many areas of the school district he’d like to address if elected.
“SCPPS can improve school safety support at the district and school levels by adding resource officers to all elementary schools and two at each high school,” he said, adding he’d also like to improve communication and work with industry partners to improve the workforce development and dual enrollment programs offered to students.
“We need to have open conversations about how we can retain teachers,” Gregson added. “We need experienced teachers in the classroom to mentor our teachers entering the workforce. We need to work with state legislators to fix recent teacher retirement laws that negatively impact the number of teachers entering the workforce.”
Gregson said he also thinks discipline should looked at closely.
“As a school board member, I want to work with district and school staff using the discipline data to develop policies that hold students and parents accountable,” he said. “We need to hold students and parents accountable in our schools because law enforcement will hold them accountable later in life.”
He said he also wants to increase community involvement in the school system, including the need for alumni associations at DHS and HHS.
Faucheux said his greatest resource in this election cycle has been meeting with existing and retired teachers, as well as administrators, to learn how the school district can improve.
He said as a recent retiree he did extensive research this past summer studying the school district’s position in the state and its level of achievement.
“Based on the information I gathered, I started attending school board committee meetings, as well as school board meetings, beginning in July to see if any of these topics were being discussed,” he said. “As of July, the topics of lack of discipline causing disruptions in the classroom, the misuse of equity, teacher turnover and the unnecessary burdens placed on our teachers and administrators had not been covered. That is not to say they have not been addressed in prior meetings, but I can promise if elected to the board they will be discussed in future meetings.”
Faucheux said he will take advantage of his retired status and past profession as a sales professional of 39 years to devote his time and energy to the task of advancing the school system.
“My up bringing and profession have taught me how to work hard and how to succeed in a competitive world,” he said. “It was my job to help my clients eliminate obstacles. I provided them with solutions to increase their production, within their budget. As a school board member I will utilize these talents to eliminate or go around obstacles to help our school district achieve its goals. I have studied and understand the 20 year strategic plan as well as the goals for each individual school.”
Faucheux said he stands apart from Gregson for several reasons, including that he is a life-long resident of St. Charles Parish.
“I was a student in our school district from elementary school until graduating from HHS in 1977,” he said. “I don’t want to brag, but I was senior class president, starting full back on the football team and sprinter on the track team. I only mention these things to remind my district that I understand the traditions of our schools.”
He added that he is also Catholic.
“I am involved in Holy Family Catholic Church as a lector and volunteer,” he said. “I am a past pastoral council member, past president of the St. Charles Parish Library Board and currently serve as Vice President of Creative Family Solutions.”
Faucheux said the number one issue the parish school district needs to address is teacher turnover – “largely due to the lack of authority they have to discipline disruptive students.”
The second issue, he said, “is misuse of equity thus putting unnecessary burdens on the backs of teachers.”
Be the first to comment