CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Cameron Parish has a new school superintendent. And, for now, they still have the former superintendent too while the transition is underway. Though Charlie Adkins is technically a consultant until he retires.
Charley Lemons is the new school superintendent on Cameron Parish. Formerly, the principal at Kinder High, he now is working with Adkins as he takes over the reins.
"After 40 years in the business it's time to let the younger kids take over," said Adkins.
In the transition, Lemons has learned the greatest challenge is budget and revenue.
"We are in a budget crisis and so we are going to continue to look at that. The staff's going to continue to look at that with the board,"said Lemons.
Adkins agrees. Five years ago people voted down a tax renewal and there are state cuts. There will be new revenue as original parts of LNG facilities come on the tax rolls. Still:
"Our schools are in really good shape academically, our scores are up doing well there, but we have to do something about our finances so that we can bring our teachers to the salary level that they need to be to be able to recruit and retrain good strong teachers," said Adkins.
Lemons says he cares about preparing students for the future.
"Our job as educators is to give them the best opportunity possible to be successful after they get out of school, whether that's going to college or going straight into the workforce. We want to make sure that they can be a productive citizen," said Lemons.
Which is fully in line with Adkins best advice.
"My number one piece of advice is to always remember that this is about the children," said Adkins.
Lemons is 38 years old and excited to build upon a good foundation:
"If these industries do come in, down here in Cameron Parish, these people will live here if they have good schools. If they don't they'll live in Sulphur, they'll live in Lake Charles, live wherever and drive in. So these schools could also help rejuvenate the economy," he said.
After 40 years in education, Adkins says it's time for new blood. So, what will he do?
"I'm going to do whatever Jackie, my wife, tells me to do," said Adkins.
Adkins last day is June 15th.
Lemons contract provides for a salary of $109,000. With a vehicle allowance, Lemons' compensation is $115,000.
Lemons has a two and a half year contract with the school board.