Nicky Pere, a retired farmer and educator, was named the new School Board member for District 5B at Monterey last week.
Board members appointed Pere to the post during its regular meeting Thursday, Nov. 11.
Pere will replace John Bostic, who recently resigned from the board. Bostic is moving to Shreveport to be closer to family.
The terms for Bostic and other board members are scheduled to expire at the end of 2022. The board is now checking with state officials to determine if a special election will be held in the spring to fill the remainder of Bostic’s term or if Pere will serve until the expiration.
Pere said Tuesday that if a special election is held he intends to run for the position.
In addition to Pere, Ralph Simmons and Matt Taunton sought the post.
All three discussed the reasons they wanted to serve during the School Board’s meeting last week.
With Bostic’s seat unfilled at the meeting, seven board members voted for Pere and one voted for Taunton.
Because the votes were conducted by paper ballot, the public was not apprised of how individual board members voted.
In his talk before the board, Pere said he had 40 years of business experience in the operation of his own farm consisting of crops and cattle. He said this experience helped him learn to manage money responsibly and to budget.
After he retired from farming, Pere began a 14-year career in education as a teacher, coach, athletic director, bus driver, assistant principal and acting principal. He also served as a volunteer coach in Monterey, Ferriday and Vidalia.
Pere and his wife Sarah Calhoun Pere are the parents of five children, all of whom have earned college degrees.
“From an early age a good education was always stressed to me and my two brothers by our mother,” Pere said, noting that he and his wife stressed this to their children.
“Now that I am retired, I have a strong desire to stay involved in my community and our schools,” he said. “I believe that being a School Board member be the perfect way to accomplish.”
Pere said Tuesday he has four main goals:
-- The completion of the new gym at Monterey.
-- That in connection with Covid, to “keep our students in the classroom. They learn more in school, plus they need the social environment that is missed when not in school.”
-- To fill parish schools with “as many certified teachers as possible.”
-- To work with and support “our teachers, coaches, administrators and other support personnel to help make our schools the best that they can be.”