[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish School Board 3rd District runoff pits two first-time candidates

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Oct 21 09:58:38 EDT 2010

St. Bernard Parish School Board 3rd District runoff pits two first-time

Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 8:30 PM

Bob Warren, The Times-Picayune

Two first-time candidates will meet in the Nov. 2 runoff for the open 3rd
District seat on the St. Bernard Parish School Board.

Rashelle Vandenborre led in the October election with 38 percent of the
vote, followed closely by Darleen Asevedo, who tallied 34 percent.
Third-place finisher Louis Wineski III had 28 percent.

The term is for four years. The position pays $600 per month. Current 3rd
District board member Lynette DiFatta won the 1st District post, leaving the
3rd District race without an incumbent.

Vandenborre said she has spent a lot of time talking to voters and isn't
surprised by her showing in the first election.

"I've been campaigning door to door, just getting in touch with people,''
she said. "I've worked hard.''

As she did while campaigning for the primary, Vandenborre, who graduated
from Chalmette High School in the spring, said she has used her age - 18 --
to her advantage.

"Once I explain how my age will actually help me they understand,'' she said
of people who are at first skeptical that she lacks the life experience to
adequately represent the district.

She said her age and the fact that she only recently was a student in the
parish's public school system gives her an insight into what the issues are.

Her platform has centered on reducing teen pregnancy and curbing the
district's dropout rate and she wants the school district to tailor a
program to reach those students. She also wants the district to host more
career seminars for young students and have additional programs targeting
childhood obesity.

Asevedo, who during the primary said she is very well known on the
district's campuses due to her involvement as her children made their way
through the public school system, issued a statement saying she would
support the current board and schools Superintendent Doris Voitier.

"With the leadership of Ms. Doris Voitier and Board President Mrs. Diana
Dysart we have witnessed leadership that has become recognized as a model as
to how a school system can recover following a disaster the scope of
Hurricane Katrina,'' the statement said.

"Just a visit to the new Chalmette High School will show anyone that we can
be proud and excited what the future will bring to the education of our
children,'' she wrote.

Asevedo has also said she will advocate mentoring programs for young
students and will support the district's athletic program, including
cheerleading, dance and other activities.

Bob Warren can be reached at bwarren at timespicayune.com or 504.826.3363.

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