May 132013

Lycee Francais board members (from left) Ben Castoriano, Alysson Mills, Catherine MacPhaille, Erin Greenwald, Paige Saleun and Jean Montes at Monday night’s board meeting. Also present (but not pictured) were Jacqueline Simon, Tim Gray and Dan Henderson. (Robert Morris,

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans governing board accepted three new members Monday night — one of whom will be seated immediately — and voted to begin contract negotiations with a San Francisco educator to become the school’s new leader.

The five board members who have led the school for much of the past year were joined for the first time at an official meeting by the new members voted in last month. Together, they voted unanimously and without comment to accept Courtney Garrett, Tessa Jackson and Ann Meese to join the board.

With 10 members serving currently and a school charter that only allows a maximum of 11, only one of the three can be seated immediately. Nominating committee chair Jeff Teague suggested the board choose Garrett, the chief financial officer of a healthcare company, so that she could begin getting acquainted with the school’s finances, and the board accepted that recommendation as well.

The five longer-serving members’ terms are slated to expire at the end of June, allowing Jackson and Meese to join the board in July.

The board then spent an hour deliberating over the CEO-search committee’s recommendation to hire Mireille Rabaté, a principal at the French American International School in San Francisco, as Lycee’s new school leader. After the session, seven board members voted to allow board members Jean Montes and Erin Greenwald to begin negotiating a contract with her.

Montes and board secretary Paige Saleun abstained from the vote. Saleun explained after the meeting that she wanted the new board members who will be working with Rabaté to make the decision.

“I’m not going to be here to govern her, so I didn’t want to vote ‘yea’ or ‘nay,'” Saleun said. “I wanted to let the new board members take the lead. They’re going to be working with her.”

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