The 2010 Louisiana Teacher of the Year says she is seriously considering a run for the state Board of Elementary & Secondary Education. Holly Boffy, who most recently taught eighth grade social studies for the gifted program at Paul Breaux Middle School, says she’s reaching out to fellow educators and the business community as she weighs a possible run this fall. Now retired from the Lafayette Parish School System, Boffy recently signed on as the director of professional development and university programs with the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana.
Boffy, 33 and a 1996 alumna of Abbeville High School, earned a bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist certification degrees from LSU. She has also served as an adjunct instructor in the Education Department at UL. Boffy says it was her experience in the Teacher of the Year program that opened her eyes to the possibility of addressing Louisiana’s poor public school system through politics.
“When I became the teacher of the year and traveled with the national Teacher of the Year program, I realized how much education is influenced by politics, and those politics are very far removed from students,” she says. “So, I either have to do something about it or not be frustrated by it.”
The married mother of a 4-year-old son says she’s been encouraged by colleagues to seek the BESE seat. “I’ve gotten support from teachers who know what my experience is; they know I have a strong background in teaching with my advanced degrees. So, I’m being strongly encouraged by teachers, but also by parents of students I’ve taught,” says Boffy, a Republican. “There’s an interest in improving public education for the students in our state even among people who don’t have their children in the public school system — they want a better system for everybody. I’m finding people who are passionate about education, who share my passion for education, and who hopefully be able to support being in a position where I can have an impact.”
Federally mandated redistricting of BESE’s districts — there are eight BESE districts in Louisiana; the governor also appoints three at-large members — is under way in the Legislature. Boffy would likely run against the current District 7 incumbent, Dale Bayard of Sulphur, assuming he seeks reelection. (Bayard could not be reached Thursday for confirmation that he will run again.)
The former top teacher for Louisiana says she realizes what a monumental undertaking running for public office, especially for an office that covers multiple parishes. But, she says, Louisiana must do a better job with its public education system.
“I’ve seen kids who are successful in our system, but at the same time I’ve seen kids who our system is not serving,” Boffy adds. “When you have a child who gets to middle school and can’t read, we have a problem.”
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DEC 5 Here's the latest in the contest to see who gets the last word - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell or state Sen. Robert Adley. They're trading "Nuh-uhs" and "Un-huhs" over the issue of contigency contracts for public lawsuits. The guys over at LaPolitics kinda started this urinary competition, and they're posting the latest here.
DEC 5 Here's a post by blogger Walt Bennetti about a $2 million program management contract that Kenner Mayor Michael Yenni plans to award. Bennetti has a problem with no-bid contracts, but they're pretty common, especially for professional services (because really, who wants the cheapest doctor?) But the real problem Bennetti has is with the fact that the entity slated to receive the contract also happened to contribute to Yenni's campaign. Maybe he's just following the governor's lead?
DEC 5 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the really embarassing state of Louisiana's universities in this post. Grambling's football facilites were bad enough to warrant a New York Times photo essay, and he provides a link. And just recently, a concrete roof panel in LSU's College of Art and Design collapsed, closing a portion of the building indefinitely. Is this how we want our state's higher ed institutions to be?
DEC 5 Here's a post on the National Journal about another speech our governor gave to a bunch of people who live in another state. This time, he was ranting about President Obama, energy policies and, of all things, Lady Gaga. Keystone is good, so is fracking, and climate change is a big joke, Bobby says. What did Gaga do? She joined a movement, with people like Yoko Ono, that opposes fracking. Listen up Bobby: you might not want to alienate Gaga. You never know where those little monsters might be hiding -- and how often they vote.
DEC 5 Yesterday, we were perplexed by conflicting stories on the Blade blog and in the Advertiser about Louisiana's National Guard and same-sex partner benefits. The Blade reported that the guard would be paying them; the Advertiser said it would not. This story in the Washington Post clears it up: the benefits will be paid.
DEC 5 Clearly, somebody over at the state Democratic Party is familiar with the process of domain registration. This is the second time they've pulled the rug out from under a Republican candidate by reserving a domain they might want. Last time, it was RiserForCongress.com (hope they didn't pay too much for THAT one). This time it is VitterForGovernor.com, this post on the Politicus USA blog tells us.
DEC 5 Here's a pretty alarming story from WAFB about an announcement by Bobby Jindal's administration that hackers apparently got their hands on some citizens' personal info through JP Morgan Chase, the company that gets paid to send you your tax refund on a debit card. But hey, don't worry, Jindal's people say: there's no indication the hackers used the info "fraudulently." Oh, OK. Whew.
DEC 5 In this week's post, Jim Brown is blogging about Bobby Jindal and what the governor should do to solve his myriad problems. He even describes a phone call he 'received' from the guv asking for advice. Bottom line? Try staying home and doing the job you're supposed to be doing, Jim advises.
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