Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Johnnye Kennon hopes to keep board seat

IMG 6675 copyJohnnye Kennon, current school board member in District 10, has announced that she will be a candidate for re-election in the November 2014 election.

Kennon currently serves as Vice President of the Webster Parish School Board.

"It has been the most gratifying and fulfilling experience to serve as a school board member for District 10," Kennon said. "I am humbled by the support I have received from my constituents."

Kennon has also served as immediate past president of the Webster Parish School Board.

"I am a Webster Parish native where I attend Mt. Calm Missionary Baptist Church," she added.

Some of her accomplishments include but are not limited to:

nInstrumental in enrolling 20 students from five area Webster Parish schools in the Theatre of Performing Arts in Shreveport for the first time in its 20 year history. They were trained in dance,

instrumental music, voice, art and theatre.

Past Southeastern Director of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members

Past member of LSBA Legislative Committee

During the past few years, Kennon has worked closely with the superintendent (as board president) to bring a systemic focus on academic improvement in Webster Parish. The Focus on Results model was utilized to aid the school system in refining their improvement efforts and included all staff members. A focus on providing research based strategies was the result. The method is still being utilized. She attended training sessions regarding this model at the district office in Webster Parish and one out of state session that was held at a model school using the same strategies.

"We then moved into the program," Kennon said.

She also worked with the superintendent in reducing the budget deficit that Webster Parish had upon his arrival.

"Expenditures were about $3.5 million in the red," Kennon said. "With strategic planning, positions were eliminated (many on attrition / some with encouraged buyouts) resulting in a budget that was very close to being in the black within a year's time. Downsizing continued during the time Mr. Dozier was here as state funding was tight and expenditures (retirement / insurance cost retirement) continued to rise."

As board president, Kennon worked with the superintendent to ensure that he knew ramifications of certain decisions and how it would affect staff and community.

"We worked diligently on board community relations and always considered the community prior to any decisions that might affect such," she said.

As school board president, Kennon communicated and assisted the superintendent with looking at technology needs.

"We looked at the cost and placement of technology and made sure it met district needs," she said. "The final product was a plan (required by BESE) to spend local tax revenue on technology needs to insure it met testing requirements."

Kennon worked with the superintendent in looking at present staffing and staffing needs. Result was a reduction in unnecessary staff, cut back in district office staff, and other cuts (including the company that was getting substitutes for the school system). Approximately $3.7 million was trimmed from the budget.

Kennon provided valuable input to the superintendent on local and state issues. Local issues included parent concerns and school issues. State issues included funding and communication with state officials regarding funding and Common Core.

She made visual inspections of facilities with the superintendent and discussed plans of action and needs.

She provided valuable insight regarding Webster Parish and needs of the community.

During her time as president, test scores were up and school improvement was active in each school.

A technology plan was prepared and implemented. At the time Lakeside had no working (non Perkins) labs and they presently have three.

Kennon discussed and provided input to the superintendent regarding educational, financial and personnel related issues.

She worked diligently on BESE required pay scale to support new evaluation plan.

All schools now have computer labs supporting student needs and testing requirements based on the population of each school.

Kennon worked with the superintendent in setting board agendas ensuring relevant topics were included on the agenda.

"As board president, it was important to have a good understanding of all school issues," she added.

Kennon attended school board training sessions regarding educational law.






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