BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just six months after the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted not to renew the contract of Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor, an outgoing board member wants to keep him.
Mary Lynch has placed an item on the agenda to discuss and consider extending Taylor's contract.
Back in June 2014, the board voted not to extend Taylor's contract past June 30, 2015. Craig Freeman was the only board member to vote to keep Taylor. Lynch was one of those who voted not to extend his contract.
She was elected to the board in May 2014 to fill Randy Lamana's remaining term after he passed away. The next month, the board voted on Taylor's contract. Lynch said she did not have enough time to evaluate Taylor's term and should have abstained from voting. Now that she said she's had time to look into his work, Lynch said it's time to discuss the issue again.
"Our graduation cohort rate has gone up because of him," Lynch said. "We've opened superintendent's academies. We have brought in more specialized programs to EBR schools and there's a whole bunch of stuff on the horizon that's all fallen under Dr. Bernard Taylor's umbrella. My conscious said to me, 'We need to give him the opportunity or us the opportunity to have meaningful dialogue to see if this is the person we want to lead us for the next year [or] year-and-a-half."
An attempt was made to reach out to Taylor for comment, but he did not return the call and his spokesman declined comment.
However, after the board voted in June not to extend Taylor's contract, he did comment.
"There's a whole host of things that have been done and I've only been here two years and this has not been easy, but I'm at peace," Taylor said. "I feel great about what I've done, what I'm going to do and I'm looking forward to the year. Like I said, I'm going to be a superintendent somewhere else. This was never my final destination anyway. But I am going to say this, I enjoyed working here. I'm enjoying working here, great principals, great teachers, excellent students, wonderful community. I'm fine and I'm going to be fine."
The meeting is Thursday.