BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Not every school board meeting is full of excitement, enthusiasm and positive energy. But under the leadership of new superintendent that energy seems contagious.
"There are going to be some exciting new things happening in these schools and I want you to not miss out," said Supt. Warren Drake, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools.
Thursday night, Drake and the board welcomed EBR's 19 new principals.
"Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to serve the families of this community," said Erica Aguillard, principal of Riveroaks Elementary School.
"I'm so delighted for this opportunity, looking forward to some wonderful things," said Charlotte Britten, principal of Buchanan Elementary School.
The district's newest leaders received a standing ovation.
Afterwards the talk shifted to structural changes like Drake's plans to reorganize the district's front office. That plan includes cutting 34 jobs and creating nine new jobs, saving the district about $1 million in payroll.
"Our slogan, I guess you could say, is 'one team, one mission,'" said Drake.
Some board members, however, did have concerns about some of the new job descriptions.
"I'm having stress with some of these titles. You call them what you want to as long as they're doing their jobs," said school board member Vereta Lee.
"You're going to have to trust me on this sometimes. I've been doing this a long time," replied Supt. Drake.
Drake also heard the concerns of another board member. Dr. Kenyetta Nelson-Smith thought the salary was too high for one of Drake's new positions.
"103 to me seems extremely high," said Dr. Nelson-Smith.
"Bottom line, you'll save about $100,000 on what that position is going to do," replied Supt. Drake.
Ultimately, the board approved Drake's new structural ladder. It goes into effect in the coming weeks.
"I support you and your team all the way. So here we go," said school board member Jill Dyason.
"We've got new innovations. We've got people motivated to do some things. So I'm excited about what's the outcome going to be," said Calvin Nichols, principal of Scotlandville Magnet.