Last election, we began a journey to change the way families in our district were represented in our school system. With your support and vote, we succeeded in making that change and I humbly ask for your support again.
I am excited to announce my decision to run for re-election for the Ascension Parish School Board, District 5, Seat A. I do so with the support of my wife, Jennifer, and two children, Ethan and Julianna. Schools represented by District 5A include Bullion Primary, Lakeside Primary, Oak Grove Primary, Prairieville Primary, Galvez Primary, Sugar Mill Primary, Galvez Middle, Prairieville Middle, Dutchtown High, and St. Amant High.
My family moved to Ascension Parish 20 years ago and it was one of the best decisions Jennifer and I made as a young couple. Our children attended only Ascension Public Schools and are flourishing. We are excited about what the future holds for them and due to that, I want to do my part to ensure this realization for others.
I have worked in the Food Service Industry for 30 years, working my way up to District Manager at Sysco Foods. Most recently, I began a new role as Vice President of Sales at S&W Wholesale Foods. My career in this industry has taught me a tremendous amount about smart growth.
Ascension Parish is growing at an extremely rapid rate and our district is seeing the bulk of it, with even more to come. Decisions made on the school board level have a large determination on how this growth is managed. I want to do my part to help us stay ahead of this growth and maintain proportionate student-teacher ratios, maintain safe transportation, keep students out of T-buildings, enhance school safety, increase the quality of child nutrition programs, and provide enrichment through electives, clubs and athletics.
To represent the needs presented to me by the community at large, I currently serve on the following committees within the school board: Budget, Child Nutrition, Policy, Strategic Planning and Technology (Chair).
We have had some significant successes during our term, that I am very proud to share with you:
- Covid Pandemic – We faced this challenge head on, by being a leading school district to tackle continuing education during the pandemic. Due to our forward thinking on 1 to 1 technology, we were able to do so in a more seamless way than any other district.
- Here Comes the Bus App – Students and parents can monitor the location of the bus on their route and minimize the amount of time spent waiting on pickups.
- Bullion Primary School – Opened August 2019 with a current enrollment of 627, alleviating overcrowding at Oak Grove & Prairieville Primary.
- Bluff Ridge Primary School – Opened August 2020 with a current enrollment of 550, alleviating overcrowding at Dutchtown Primary & Spanish Town Primary.
- Bluff Middle School – Opened August 2020 with a current enrollment of 574, alleviating overcrowding at Dutchtown Middle & Prairieville Middle.
- Sugar Mill Primary School – Opened August 2021 with a current enrollment of 498, alleviating overcrowding at Duplessis & Central Primary.
- Prairieville High School – Opening is planned for August 2024. The school will be a 320,000 square foot campus with enough classrooms to hold 2,000 students, a media center, two gymnasiums, a courtyard, and a two-story fieldhouse.
- Student and Safety First – In this day and age, the security of our students & staff cannot be compromised. Significant strides have been made between the school system and the sheriff’s office to secure every campus with the most effective and best-known practices.
- Teacher Pay Raises – Between 2019 and 2021, teachers have received one re-occurring pay raise and two one-time pay increases.
There should be no politics in the school system and that is the reason I chose to run four years ago. I still firmly believe this. Let’s continue to do our best for the children in our community.
In the race for this position, I feel strongly that I am your best choice as your representative and welcome any conversation you wish to have
Your public servant,
John De Frances