Crowley, LA (KPEL News) - Louisiana's education system, in general, has been struggling to fill vacant teacher positions, a trend felt across the state in every parish. The stress of funding at both the state and local levels adds weight to an already heavy job when it comes to running a district. The cherry on top is that the superintendent who is hired to lead a system must have goals and values that align with those of an elected board.

We've seen turnover at the leadership level in the last couple of years in south Louisiana in parishes like Lafayette and St. Landry.

The next change is coming in Acadia Parish, as Superintendent Scott Richard will be retiring when his contract ends in September.

Richard reached out to clarify the circumstances surrounding his decision to leave the system.

In an email titled "Sign Off" sent to Tuesday night employees and community leaders, Acadia Parish Superintendent Scott Richard expressed his appreciation, saying:

It has been an honor and privilege to be afforded the opportunity to serve you and the Acadia parish community as the leader of your public school system. Wishing you all the best moving forward!

His contract with the Acadia Parish School Board was set to expire in September 2024. The board did vote in August of 2023 to approve a 9-month extension before his previous contract ran out on December 31.

Richard says some board members encouraged him to seek an extension, but he pulled the proposal off the agenda when he realized there weren't enough votes to support it.

As for rumors that he requested a raise, Richard commented:

I did NOT request a raise. I actually deferred a raise due to me last year.

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Richard was chosen to lead the district in 2018. The army veteran took the reins with 23 years of experience. The seasoned educator taught special education teacher, was a St. Landry Parish School Board member, worked for the Louisiana Department of Education for nine years, and was serving as the executive director of the Louisiana School Board Association at the time.

The Acadia Parish School Board did vote at a special meeting Tuesday night to advertise the position availability and start the search for a new superintendent.

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