Peré resigns from school board, withdraws from November election

Published 8:21 am Friday, August 12, 2022

VIDALIA, La. — “Nicky” Peré has resigned from the District 5B seat on the Concordia Parish School Board.

Nicky Peré

A letter from Peré’s attorney Andy Magoon, which was read aloud at Thursday’s board meeting, states his resignation is “effective immediately due to ongoing family and health issues. Mr. Peré appreciates the opportunity to serve his district as part of the board and intends to remain active in community activities that favor education and the development of children’s educational and athletic opportunities.”

Peré was appointed by the school board in November to fill the seat vacated by John Bostic.

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Bostic, who served on the school board for seven years and served the school district for 40 years, retired before the end of his term. Peré then won a special school board election against Matthew Taunton in March, solidifying his position on the board.

With an election turnout of 17.6%, Peré won 346 votes to Taunton’s 166 votes.

In addition to resigning from the school board, the letter states Peré will also be withdrawing from the regular school board election that takes place Nov 8.

Qualifying for the election ended July 22 and Taunton is the only remaining candidate on the ballot for the now vacant school board seat in District 5B.

Because Taunton will be unchallenged in the election, the school board said once notice of the school board vacancy is issued by the Secretary of State’s office, Taunton would be sworn in to finish the remaining five months of Peré’s term before Taunton officially takes office in January.

Peré, Taunton and Ralph Simmons were the only three who applied to the school board to fill Bostic’s seat when it came open in November.

Taunton, who is employed at the Vidalia Fire Department as a Battalion Chief, said he would give a unique perspective to the school board not as an educator but as a “concerned citizen” with a strong connection to the Concordia Parish community.

As a lifelong resident of Monterey, Taunton said, “I think I could do a great job of representing the people there, hearing their voice and bringing it back here. I wish to continue serving the citizens of my parish as a school board member.”

In other matters during Thursday’s meeting of the Concordia Parish School Board, the board offered a ray of relief to Vidalia Junior High School teachers who lost personal items when the school was vandalized. Three juveniles reportedly ransacked the school, causing over $200,000 worth of damage. Water was reportedly poured inside of carts containing Chromebooks, damaging at least 120 devices. Computers, smartboards, cameras, projectors and printers were also smashed and painted.

Approximately $8,000 was received in community donations that will be divided evenly among teachers and teacher’s assistants, Board President Fred Butcher said.

The school board voted to match that with a $300 stipend per teacher and teacher’s assistant to reimburse them for their loss.

Tom O’Neal, who is the director of business affairs for the school district, said the school district is still working with its insurance to recover the financial loss. Some of the insurance claim represents reimbursing teachers for their loss, O’Neal said.