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Lafayette Parish School System Interim Superintendent Appoints New Administrators

Lafayette Parish School System Interim Superintendent, Ms. Irma Trosclair, has made appointments to three key positions. Mr. Francis Touchet will serve the district in the newly created position of associate superintendent. Dr. Mark Rabalais will take over as chief academic officer, and Ms. Jennifer Walet Gardner was selected as chief administrative officer.

Mr. Touchet earned a Bachelor in Secondary Education degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and his Master’s plus 30 in Education Administration from McNeese State University. He was a science teacher and football and track coach in Vermilion Parish until 1998 when he became assistant principal at Abbeville High School. He also served as assistant principal and principal at Erath High School. In 2012, Mr. Touchet began his tenure with the Louisiana Department of Education where he worked with over 40 LEA throughout the state on district wide initiatives. He is a 2011 Vermilion Parish High School Principal of the Year, member of the Louisiana Association of Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and Louisiana Association of School Executives.

Dr. Rabalais earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership at Northwestern State University. He earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at UL Lafayette. Dr. Rabalais taught world geography, sociology, freshman transition, and current events at Pineville High School where he served as the head boys’ and girls’ golf coach and football offensive line coach. His administrative experience began in Lafayette Parish when he served as an assistant principal at Ernest Gallet Elementary School, principal of Ridge Elementary School, and assistant principal of Southside High School. Dr. Rabalais is a National Board Certified Teacher, 2011 PBS Innovative Teacher of the Year, LACUE Region IV Teacher of the Year, and LACUE State Winner for Secondary School Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Gardner obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Master of Education degree from the American College of Education. She is a National Institute for School Leadership principal graduate. Ms. Gardner was a science teacher at Milton Elementary School for eight years. She served as a science instructional coach for the district and as an assistant principal at L. J. Alleman Middle School. Her most recent position was principal at L. J. Alleman Middle School.