My name is Wade Schexnaydre and I want to represent you on the Ascension Parish School Board, District 7A. My roots run deep in Ascension with generations of family having served our public school system, a system that has undergone spectacular growth to keep pace with the parish’s population explosion over the last two decades. That growth is expected to continue, exerting more and more pressure on our schools to keep pace and presenting critical decisions for the next school board.
I am uniquely prepared to make those decisions, having spent five years on Ascension’s Planning Commission. I am proud of my record, protecting the interests of citizens above all else while recognizing the rule of law. The experience and knowledge I gained were instrumental in developing a sound platform (FACET) for service on Ascension Parish School Board, outlined below.
- Fairness: Next year the Board will be called on to cast its most important vote in decades, redrawing east bank attendance zones as a fourth high school is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2024. The current zones, enacted in 2002, see many of our students bypassing schools every morning to attend others located further away. Sometimes just downright unfair, I promise a comprehensive evaluation of the next attendance zones to ensure they make sense geographically to maximize the educational opportunities for every student.
- Accountability: From the top down, starting with me, every aspect of the school system must be accountable to Ascension Parish citizens who bear the significant cost to provide a quality education. More than $93,000,000 in annual property tax alone, I fully support paying our educators as well as any in the State of Louisiana with the expectation of a return on that investment.
- Cooperation: The Sheriff’s Office and Parish Government enjoy many resources alongside Ascension Parish Public Schools. Opportunities for cooperation, and coordination, between these governmental entities exist which are not being fully utilized. I want to capitalize on every opportunity to establish mutually beneficial working relationships through Cooperative Endeavor Agreements. Examples include utilization of APG’s Channel 21 to keep citizens informed, shared funding of transportation improvements around school campuses, and a greater law enforcement presence to enhance school safety.
- Education: Of course, the primary function of our school system is the education of our children. Maintaining our educational standards will always be imperative, but we can take a more common sense approach with curricula. Teaching our children the skills necessary to become productive citizens, not just great test takers, will benefit every citizen of Ascension Parish. Good grades and impressive standardized test scores are important; acquiring life skills and the ability to earn a living even more so.
- Transparency: School Board meetings should be televised just like Ascension Parish Government meetings are. Whether utilizing APG’s Channel 21 or livestreaming on the Board’s own YouTube channel, there is no reason not to do so given the various technologies available. Proudly, and loudly, noticing School Board meeting agendas will afford every concerned parent or citizen ample access and the opportunity to be heard. An upgrade to the Board’s website to make it more user friendly is also in order. Lastly, at the risk of alienating some, no more tax or bond elections on off-cycle, low turnout elections.
I look forward to expanding upon each of these points in the weeks leading up to Election Day (November 8), and eagerly invite your feedback.
Wade Schexnaydre, Candidate for District 7A