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Terran Perry seeks District D seat on Tangi School Board

Terran Perry seeks District D seat on Tangi School Board

Author: Action News 17/Monday, June 25, 2018/Categories: Front Page, Latest Stories

Terran Perry of Hammond announces that he will be a candidate for the District D seat on the Tangipahoa Parish School Board this fall:

After much prayer, I am pleased to announce my candidacy for Tangipahoa Parish School Board District D.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of reading a very straightforward and pretty accurate letter to the editor written by a Hammond Businessman emphasizing the importance of our parish coming together in tackling those issues that have so long burdened our schools. This process has already begun with the selection of the right superintendent. I, for one, am very proud of our board for selecting a homegrown, highly-skilled educator to lead. I have always stood firmly in the belief that throughout our parish are some of the most talented people in the state, nation, and world for that matter. The understanding has been that we, as one, are more than capable of rebuilding a once broken system. Although the present situation may not have been created by us, who are we, however, to not consider ourselves the generation that brings positive resolve once and for all? I believe we can. You see, this parish is and has always been a potential economic powerhouse. Just consider what providing families with choices among an abundance of high performing schools would do. At the very least, this alone would pave the way for our parish to be a premier parish to live for those desiring to relocate to Louisiana. We are perfectly positioned to do this, and properly addressing education will allow all of us to reap the benefits of its full potential.

My qualifications and background are as follows: I was born and raised in Hammond, Louisiana. I am a proud graduate of Hammond High Magnet School (Class of ’94), Southeastern Louisiana University, and the Louisiana Superintendent’s Academy. In continuing a family tradition, I spent some time serving in the United States Army prior to coming home to serve in roles ranging from Teacher to Director within the Tangipahoa Parish School System. Among the successes experienced at home include: (1) never seeing a decline in overall school performance as a principal, (2) creating opportunities for middle school students to earn high school credits, (3) drafting proposals identifying ways to increase pay for support workers, namely school bus drivers, (4) facilitating the development of leadership within the district’s transportation department resulting in a department that is equipped with well-rounded staff, and (5) endorsing the idea of allowing drivers to attend professional development so that they can conduct trainings of new drivers. All of these experiences have played a key role in my own development as a leader, and I take none of them for granted.

Currently, I serve as Chief Administrator in St. John the Baptist Parish Schools where I oversee magnet programs at the math and science k-8 and high schools. I count this role as a blessing in that it allows me the opportunity to continue doing what I enjoy while working to positively impact my own community on a much broader scale.

Two very important goals I have and advocate for all to stand behind are:
(1) Help ensure our system functions in such a way that significantly improves student educational outcomes which calls for the following:
A. Balance of opportunities and programs for children throughout the parish - There exist a need for a major high school with programs comparable to those of Hammond High Magnet positioned in Mid-Parish and at Northern Parish)
B. Stronger emphasis placed on STEM/ STEAM Education - Per recent studies, starting salary for an entry-level employee in a STEM job is 26 percent high than a job in a non-STEM field))
C. Intense focus on making certain our kids are both college and career ready - we must refuse to “write kids off” but working to identify creative ways to meet the individual needs of children beginning at the Early Childhood stages leading to an increase in ACT/ WorkKeyes performance as this empowers students by giving them the true option of deciding whether they want to go to college, join the military, or go straight into the workforce)
D. Explore ways to increase pay for teachers and support workers - Teachers will perform well without the extra money. Increasing salaries exhibits appreciation which in turn motivates them to perform even better. Kids win.
E. Identify more kids who should be labeled as Gifted and Talented - I have come to the understanding and belief that the number of students recommended for expulsion should never outweigh the number of kids recommended for Gifted and Talented.

(2) Bring peaceful resolve to a long-overdue Desegregation Case by relying on the perspectives of parents, students, business community and educators as opposed to only those of attorneys. It has been my experience that educators will always keep us focused on the most important thing – our children.

In closing, I believe this is an important time for our system. Let’s get behind making our system work for kids. As mentioned before, let’s lead in building a system we can all be proud of – one that is known for significantly raising student achievement regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, and regardless of race – one that allows parents to feel comfortable with how it operates and to feel good about the quality education kids receive. I truly believe the right leader for this time has emerged, and I have no doubt that our schools will grow under her leadership. This said, surrounding her with the right board is key to our opportunity to make the next couple of years the time to finally see Tangipahoa Parish positively lead the way in education.

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