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Lafourche Parish’s newly appointed Superintendent of Schools said he is ready and anxious to take over the system’s leadership, and that while he is well aware of the district’s financial woes and other issues, he is confident that he can find ways for the school district to cope.

“I am bringing a vast wealth of experience in terms of the various roles that I have played for the past 23 and a half years in our district,” said Louis Voiron during a telephone interview. Currently serving as Lafourche’s human resource director, he expects to begin the top district job Dec. 21. That’s the day after the current superintendent, Jo Anne Matthews, will leave her post. “I want parents to know that my top priority is having their children’s best interests in mind. I want to ensure that we have an environment that cultivates caring and understanding for kids.”

The parish’s 15-member school board chose Voiron last month over two other finalists in the quest for Matthews’ replacement, by one vote. The other two finalists were Bubba Orgeron, who is the assistant superintendent of schools in Terrebonne Parish and Clyde Washington, assistant superintendent of schools in Rapides Parish.

Orgeron received seven of the 15 votes while Washington received none. With eight votes, Voiron clinched the job. The school board has authorized their attorney to negotiate a contract with Voiron and report to them on Nov. 7.

Matthews’ salary reached $219,937.10 per annum in 2015. The parameters for negotiation with Voiron have not yet been released.

Finances are a topic that Voiron is well aware are an issue in the school district, which has made massive cuts to services to cope with budget shortfalls.

“Absolutely the current financial situation that we are in, and the current status of losing teachers to surrounding districts, that is a challenge we are not going to fix overnight,” Voiron said. “But through collaborative efforts with the community an but through collaborative efforts with the community and the school board we are going to have to address stabilizing our general fund, and educate everyone on what the different funds are comprised of.”

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