Allen Blanchard Jr.
Blanchard new superintendent
Allen Blanchard Jr. was the unanimous choice of the St. Martin School Board last week to fill the school system’s top job.
Blanchard, who was the only applicant for the position, had been serving as interim superintendent since last September, when board members relieved Dr. Lottie Beebe, who had held the superintendent’s post since July 2013.
Although Blanchard was approved by a unanimous vote (Dist. 8 board member Frederic Stelly was not present), Floyd Knott of District 9 added language to the motion indicating that the final appointment will be contingent upon the finalization of Blanchard’s employment contract to be presented at the board’s April meeting
“In the past the board has granted 2-year contracts for the superintendent, with the term to end on June 30,” he pointed out. “I’d also like to know what can be done to streamline the (central) staff.”
Knott also said he was concerned over “horror” stories he has heard regarding student discipline, especially from bus drivers.
Blanchard is a 1986 graduate of Breaux Bridge High School and earned a B.A. degree from UL-Lafayette in 1991. He holds a Master of Education degree from LSU and is certified in administration and supervision with 30-plus hours of graduate study at LSU and Southern University.
His career in education began as a math teacher at BBHS in 1991. He served briefly as an assistant principal at Carencro Middle School, spent two years as assistant principal and four as principal of Cecilia Jr. High before his appointment to the central staff in 2006 as supervisor of elementary education and parish test coordinator.
His most recent staff assignment was director of human resources, operations and transportation.
He has been active in numerous professional, civic and religious organizations and is also owner/operator of AB Farms in Cecilia which manages 100 acres of pasture land with 30 head of cattle.
In other business during last week’s meeting, the board:
•Awarded a $1,087,214 contract to low bidder R.S. Bernard & Assoc. of Lafayette for the construction of a new library at St. Martinville Primary.
•Awarded a contract for renovations of the football field press boxes at Breaux Bridge and St. Martinville high schools to Acadiané Renovations of Franklin at an approximate cost of $132,000 per school.
•Agreed to purchase 11 regular buses and two special education buses at a state contract price of $1.1 million. The buses will not be delivered until the end of July and the expenditure will be recorded in the board’s 2019-20 fiscal year.