LIVINGSTON – Two Livingston Parish School Board members announced they will not seek re-election. Board members Sid Kinchen and Karen Schmitt announced their decisions at the end of Thursday’s School Board meeting.
Kinchen, of Albany, represents District 9, which covers the Albany and Holden schools. Schmitt, of Denham Springs, represents District 4, which includes schools inside the Denham Springs city limits and Southside Junior High.
“Next week is qualifying and this is the appropriate time – It’s not a secret to some at the Central Office – I’m not going to run for re-election,” Kinchen said. “It has been weighing heavy on me. Some people have asked me to not do it, but it’s time for me to move on to the next stage of my life,” he said.
Kinchen did not say his health was one of the reasons for his decision, but he did point out his left vocal cord was paralyzed and how his voice sounded.
He added he will serve out the remaining five months of his term.
“I am not seeking election either,” Schmitt said when Kinchen finished addressing the board and audience. “When I was elected, I said I would serve two terms,” she said.
“My gut has always served me well. My instincts have never failed me. It’s time for me to hang it up.”
Qualifying for all nine seats on the School Board will be Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 18-20.
Kinchen also reflected on his three terms on the School Board, which oversees the education of almost 26,000 students.
“I served under four superintendents,” he said. “Our test scores are strong and our schools continue to improvement. When you’re at the top, it’s tough to keep moving up.
“I served on three good boards for 12 years. I thank my constituents for allowing me to have a hand,” he said.
“When you’re a public servant, you get beat up a lot. It takes a special person to sit on this board and do the best for our children,” Kinchen said. “Our children are our most precious resource.”
Schmitt added, “This job is not as stressful as I thought it would be.
“When it came to getting calls or email, I got this many,” she said, holding up one hand with her five fingers spread out.
“It is an honor to represent part of Denham Springs,” Schmitt said. “My heart will always be in the heart of Denham Springs. But it’s time for me to move on.”