Cohen High School and principal Arlen...
Concerned citizen

Elmore, AL

#295 Apr 15, 2010
The superintendent must become STUDENT and COMMUNITY-centered. Leadership and setting reasonable expectations for principals starts with the Superintendent leading the charge. The organization takes on the character of its leader!
Concerned citizen

Elmore, AL

#296 Apr 15, 2010
QUOTE who="Here Are My Views"Here's what's real to me about St. Helena Parish:
1. Many of the White students are enrolled in schools in Tangipahoa and other parishes.
2. Three times, with the last in 2008, the public school property tax proposal did not pass. Now, Dr. Slan is attempting to meet with local pastors for assistance. Pastors can't not make a community care about its children. They, too, will tell you that the training of a child begins at home.
3. I really want all residents that attend school in St. Helena Parish to have facilities that are conducive to teaching and learning. I find it interesting that the Louisiana Technical College in Greensburg is building a new campus; yet, the schools are not even suited, in my opinion, to teach children. I believe you are truly blessed to have teachers as committed as most of the ones you have to teach there.
4. Over 80% of the student population receives free and/or reduced lunch? But, Dr. Slan, you, expect your principals and other administrators as well as teachers to teach the children everything they need to reach a school performance score above 60. I understand that accountability is needed and important, but we have taken elementary and secondary education and turned it into a high stakes testing and scoring frenzy. Many people in America, and I'm sure St. Helena Parish is no different, are trying to make it in life. And, sometimes that might mean that they cannot help their children with their homework. I do know about all the additional monies for after school programs, etc. that you have or have had, but that's not getting you where you need to be, it it? How do you reach the parents and provide them with the resources they need to be able to spend time with their children, as I'm sure that many want to, to reinforce what's learned at school? I agree that the educators should do all they can when they are at school with the children, but the level of accountability that you are asking is not supported in practice or theory.
5. Dr. Slan is the leader of the schools. Dr. Slan, I too, have supervised in the educational setting, over 30 professional and 30 support personnel. As a leader, I firmly believe it is MY responsibility to work with personnel to assist them in identifying their deficiencies and making recommendations for improvement. It is so interesting to me how leaders, especially women of color - I'm one too - like to "throw people under the bus," and are quick to talk to personnel and ask, "What can I do to help you improve?" Why are we leaders if we are asking what our employees need? A good leader observes, listens, doesn't act hastily, and never provides an opportunity in a forum such as a post to praise one employee, even when the comments are bad, while you have others that you degrade. And, Dr.Slan, please remember that e-mail communication doesn't go away.
6. I can type for hours, so let me bring this to a close. Here's a few thoughts to ponder:
--How do we get the school system where it needs to be?"
-- How do we actively engage the parents of the students that attend the schools to get them to have a vested interest while also supporting them where they are?
-- Who can be contacted to build a state of the art facility so these students are prepared to compete locally, regionally, and nationally in the workforce or postsecondary education?
-- What media campaign is underway to demystify the district's current image? Why would any principal, other administrator, or teacher want to come and work for a parish whose superintendent feels compelled to speak out against what someone writes on a blog? How professional is that?
Do you think Daisy read this? She needs to.
Let Us Get Real

Ville Platte, LA

#297 Apr 15, 2010
I have been reading the post every since Ms. Kennedy has arrived on the scene. Is it a coincidence that all of the post lately are about St. Helena Schools?
I don't think the real problems have been identified. From my perspective let me begin:
1. It is my belif that the board is the major impediment to school system. They sit around the table like knots on a log, they either don't know what's going on or they don't care. The last 3 superintendents we had set us back collectively 50 years. That doesn't say much about the board and their ability to hire a good super. The tax failed mainly because of the board. They wanted to keep a low profile...not advertise. Well that brilliant stargety failed each time. The opponents were taking out full page adds. What's wrong with this picture? The $60,000 salary we are paying the board members can be put into the schools. Let's get real!!
2. Dr. Slan has decided to dismiss Mr. Porter becaues he lacks good leadership skills. Mr. Porter was born, raised, educated, worked as a taecher and then as a principal in this parish all of his life. If he was lacking in certain skills, shouldn't the super have worked with him to imrove his skills. Dr. Slan gets on this forum and raves about Ms. Kennedy who has only been here a couple of months. Ms. Kennedy appears to be very knowledgable in her field. However, she lacks good communication skills and character, which will definately affect her leadership abilities. Let's get real!!
3. The school board office is stacked with highly paid personnel who don't have a clue as to what ther jobs are. They are not in the schools on a regular basis to provide support and guidanceas their jobs require. One staff member flies off every chance she gets to conferences. We can afford to pay airfare and hotels, but we can't afford books for every student. Let's get real.
4. The problems are real and there is enough blame to go around. We as residents of St. Helena parish have a vested interest in the success of our schools. Parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, board members, elected officials, young, old, business owners, property owners, black, white, churches... we all have a role to play in providing good quality education in a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. Let's take this opportunity to get involved and....LET"S GET REAL!!!

Since: Jan 08

Palo Alto, CA

#298 Apr 15, 2010
Told You So

Roseland, LA

#299 Apr 16, 2010
"Here are my views" and "Let us get real" are very much on target.
Concerned citizen

Elmore, AL

#300 Apr 18, 2010
This District is in need of leadership at the superintendent level!
Let Us Get Real

Ville Platte, LA

#301 Apr 18, 2010
I totally agree with "Concerned Citizen". But I would like to go a step further and try to get on the ballot term limits for school board members.Several have been on the board for over 15 years and one can't read or write. At least with term limits we might luck up one day and get some board members who are truly committed to improving education in St. Helena Parish. It's worth a shot!! Waht do we have to lose??!
My Point

Roseland, LA

#302 Apr 19, 2010
First of all, as sad as it is, I SEE WHY HELENA IS IN IT'S CURRENT POSITION. I see this so clearly and I'm not even from that parish.

The entire upper level of the school system is being run by IDIOTS. The things they do make no sense whatsoever.

Okay, so you're going to help the system out by letting go the best principal the high school has ever had and letting go a young middle school principal who hasn't had time to even show his effectiveness while AT THE SAME TIME keeping the shady elementary principal who is solely responsible for the entire fourth grade having to be re-tested in one area of the LEAP? STUPID.

Okay, so you're going to help the system out by giving ONE person absolute power so she can pick and choose what she wants the Board to know or believe? STUPID.

It doesn't take a genius to add STUPID + STUPID together.

The people of St. Helena Parish need to stand up and fight for their children before the entire school system ends up like the TITANIC--at the bottom of some ocean.

I agree with "Let Us Get Real" in the previous post when they stated, "What do we have to lose?" And I can honestly answer that question--EVERYTHING!

Concerned citizen

Elmore, AL

#303 Apr 21, 2010
To: Here are my Views.
All comments you posted are absolutely correct. I agree and keep up the good work in your posting. Excellent critical thinking and problem solving used in your post. You should be the superintendent! Are you a principal?
Mary Ann Reed

Bluffton, SC

#304 Apr 22, 2010
Wow she is backkkkk!! what a shame I hope there is no coach in the building thatis an male. Move out and pack up she is backkkkk!!!
Concerned citizen

Elmore, AL

#305 Apr 23, 2010
A former teacher from St. Helena'a Parish, was recently selected as Teacher of the Year, in her new parish -- Congratulations! She was under Gary Porter's leadership for a number of years. This speaks volumes for you Mr. Porter. Please continue to shine. Mr. Porter, you are truly special and please continue to be a role model for all at-risk youth and adults alike. You are one for other educators to emulate.
Old News

United States

#306 Apr 23, 2010
Has anyone posted anything about how St. Helena is improving? Thats what I want to know. The kids I have dealt with are good kids, whom are eager to learn. How about we make it about the children and not get involved in all of the drama of others. If there is leadership, lead us in a positive manner. All of this blogging back and forth, name calling, telling us what is wrong doesn't help. Ms. Kennedy deserves her fair chance at the elementary school before people begin completely tearing her apart.
My Point

Roseland, LA

#307 Apr 24, 2010
Concerned citizen wrote:
A former teacher from St. Helena'a Parish, was recently selected as Teacher of the Year, in her new parish -- Congratulations! She was under Gary Porter's leadership for a number of years. This speaks volumes for you Mr. Porter. Please continue to shine. Mr. Porter, you are truly special and please continue to be a role model for all at-risk youth and adults alike. You are one for other educators to emulate.
...And if not for the foolishness of the Central Office, that wonderful young teacher would have still been in St. Helena doing what she does best--TEACHING!!! Looks like running talented young educators off is the new trend. Out with the young and talented and in with the old and scandalous.
kennedys new school

United States

#308 May 21, 2010
I have read your blogs and am very concerned because even though she is out of your lives she is now in mine. She is the new principal at St. Helena Central Elementary in Greensburg, La. She is unprofessional. She curses at her employees and makes comments like you better hope I don't have your husband locked in my office. How do we get rid of her? She does not seem like she will be an asset to our school.
Come on Now Really

Reserve, LA

#309 May 26, 2010
Are you now going to try and start drama. One person can not keep crowding this space. Everyone has flaws and no one is perfect. Let her work speak for her. Case closed. If she does a bad job it will come out, we do not have to say anything about her.
Then ask yourself the truth and speak in the right context. Did she really curse you? Come on now.
You have given yourself away by your comments and trying to spark a flame. No one cares about this woman anymore. She is old news.
It is the end of the year. Get a life. You don't like it there, leave.
I love it there. The kids need us and deep down inside we need them as well. Especially now! Keep that in your focus.
Let go and let GOD!
Giveitsometime youllsee

New Orleans, LA

#310 Jun 15, 2010
I thought this about her the first time I met her. then I worked under her for a month and realized I was sorely mistaken. Pay close attention. And I wouldn't trust that she actually is Dr. Kennedy.
Diane Tate wrote:
I just recently met Dr. Kennedy. And unless she is really faking it, this woman is a genius. She talked about education concerns with some of us at a workshop and she is on top of the game. She is very knowledgeable and has a strong view of education. She is a no nonsense woman ready to take on the challenges regardless of the consequences. Another friend of mine said she was persecuted for being strong and she fought back when people tried to railroad her.
She may be what the district needs to turn around. I say give her a chance. Let's see what happens. Smart is good.
Honest as they come

Roseland, LA

#311 Jul 13, 2010
Where's L. Cryer when the Parish clearly needs her? UGH!

Hammond, LA

#312 Aug 11, 2010
I like her. She loves the children.

Ville Platte, LA

#313 Aug 12, 2010
I've been reading the comments since I last posted. Ms. Kenndy is NOT the problem. Sh may have some ares that she needs to improve in, but don't we all?
The real problem is the super and the board, and now we can add RSD who has taken over the middle school. There are only 3 schools in the parish. The elementary and the high schools are on a five day schedule and run by the board, oops, I mean Dr. Slan. The middle school is on a 4 day schedule and run by RSD. The first day of school 8/11/10, children at the middle school were left for 45 minutes after school was out because Dr. Slan exerted he auhtority and refused to allow HER buses to pick up the children from the middle school. Some children didn't get home until 7pm. That is absolutely ridiculous, unacceptable!!!! She should be reprimanded!!! What is it going to take for the parents to wake up and find out what the heck is going on.
The curriculum supervisor resigned and Slan has opted not to advertise to fill the position. Well let's see who will be in the position as "interim". One lucky guess...Jerry Payne (past superintendent). By the way she slipped him in at the high school as acting principal. She requested that he get $300 per day, but they settled on $250. That little deal ends sometime in mid August. There are other qualified employees in the system who are certified for the supervisor position, but they probably won't get an opportunity to apply if the super has decided that's not the course she wants to take.
I have a feeling come October 2nd, some of our problems wil be solved...we will have new board members and a new super by the summer!!!

United States

#314 Sep 2, 2010
mr.jones is evil

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