BATON ROUGE, LA — David Tatman (District 1) was elected president of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board at the last Board meeting. Tatman replaces outgoing president Barbara Freiberg (District 7) who stepped down after two years of service. Tarvald Smith (District 4) was re-elected vice-president.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Tatman said during brief remarks after the election. Tatman, who heads the consulting firm The Tatman Group, says he’s committed to having the Board work together as a team. “We have a good board, and it is crucial that we work together as a team to face the challenges ahead, most notably the budget and supporting the schools that must improve performance.” Tatman added that he will look to the community for continued support of the schools and that he looks forward to working with Superintendent Bernard Taylor, Jr., on the new Strategic Plan for the School System.
Outgoing president Freiberg received a standing ovation from the Board and audience present at the meeting. In her remarks before turning over her seat, she mentioned the challenges of Board members being new and diverse when her term began. “We came together through some difficult, challenging times, and we stayed together. The importance of what this Board does cannot be underestimated,” Freiberg said. Members of the Board recognized Freiberg with a token of their appreciation.
The Board holds leadership elections every other year and during the year if the need arises for a replacement. Freiberg was elected president in January 2011 while Smith has been vice president since September 2010.