Election date for BESE Dist. 4 seat moved to October

Election date for BESE Dist. 4 seat moved to October
Caddo Parish teacher Glynis Johnston, candidate for BESE Dist. 4 (Source: Glynis Johnston/Facebook)
Caddo Parish teacher Glynis Johnston, candidate for BESE Dist. 4 (Source: Glynis Johnston/Facebook)

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The election to choose a new Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District 4 representative will not happen until October.

Based on a recommendation from Secretary of State Tom Schedler, the BESE District 4 election will move from its advertised date of March 28, and will instead be on the October 24th ballot.

Qualifying for the position was to begin on Wednesday, February 4.

The seat was vacated when former DeSoto schools superintendent and BESE board member Walter Lee resigned as part of a plea deal following his indictment on charges of felony theft, public contract fraud and malfeasance in office.

Three candidates have thrown their name in ring for the District 4 seat already, and each have expressed where they stand on the controversial Common Core standards.

Long-time Caddo Parish School employee Victor Mainiero has served as a middle school principal, Director of Communications for Caddo Parish Schools, and is currently the Director of High Schools for Caddo Parish.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Mainiero said, "I support the standards chosen for the students of Louisiana. Many parents and educators, myself included, in collaboration with business and industry have validated the standards as what is needed to ensure students are prepared for a productive future like other students across the country.

Also in the running is Glynis Johnson a classroom teacher in Caddo Parish. Johnston was named Teacher of The Year for 2014-2015. In a statement leading up to her announcement of her candidacy, the self-described anti-Common Core candidate said, "Parents are having a difficult time with the disconnect they are having by not being able to help their children with homework. Teachers are frustrated by having to teach to the test rather than using their teaching skills. This is the number one educational issue right now."

South Highlands Elementary Magnet School principal Mary Johnson Harris has also announced her candidacy. Harris was recently appointed to District 4 representative as interim.

On Common core, Harris said, "We need more educators making decisions about education. There will be many important issues facing BESE in the next few months, including replacing Common Core, funding and proposed revisions to the current evaluation system of our teachers. This is an important time for our state and I have the educational knowledge, experience (local, state and national) and proven leadership ability to navigate the myriad of issues that a board member faces."

The 4th district represents 10 parishes including Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Red River, Bienville, Sabine, Natchitoches, Winn and Vernon.

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