School leader retiring
St. Mary Parish Assistant Superintendent Keith Thibodeaux.
(The Daily Review Photo by Jean L. McCorkle)
St. Mary Parish Assistant Superintendent Keith Thibodeaux recently announced his retirement from education after 36 years of service.
“I’ve really been blessed to have an excellent career … when you get into it, you’re hoping to make a positive impact on the kids. Hopefully over the years I’ve done some of that. I really enjoy working for the school system. I have no regrets. It’s really been a positive experience. I thank the school board members and (Superintendent Donald) Aguillard for giving me the opportunities that I’ve had,” Thibodeaux said.
Thibodeaux began his educational career as a teacher and coach in 1978 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Nicholls State University. Aside from a two-year stint at Erath High School, Thibodeaux has dedicated his entire career to the students of St. Mary Parish.
He spent 15 years teaching social studies and physical education while coaching numerous sports at Patterson High School, where he served as athletic director and head football coach for five years. At Patterson High, Thibodeaux earned Coach of the Year honors for the 1991-92 football season and became Patterson’s Teacher of the Year in 1994. Additionally, his 17 years of coaching experience afforded him a lifetime membership to the Louisiana High School Athletics Association.
After completing a master’s degree program in administration and supervision at Nicholls in 1995, Thibodeaux became assistant principal at Patterson High School. He took over as principal of Patterson Junior High School in the spring of 1996. After serving as principal for over six years, Thibodeaux was appointed supervisor of instruction and transportation at the district’s central office in 2001. After his appointment as superintendent, Aguillard selected Thibodeaux as assistant superintendent, a position he has held since 2004.
“Thibodeaux’s ability to amicably direct individuals into working toward a common goal has been an integral component in the immense success the district has experienced over the past decade. Thibodeaux’s strengths have been in communicating effectively, listening empathically and jointly working toward an agreement or mutual understanding. He possesses unfaltering integrity, an impeccable work ethic and steadfast loyalty. Keith Thibodeaux has my heartfelt gratitude and utmost respect for his unwavering commitment to education during his distinguished career and in particular the past decade he has served as my trusted assistant superintendent,” Aguillard said.
A critical facet of the assistant superintendent’s duties involves cultivating a strong leadership role and effective working relationship with district administrators, Aguillard said.
Morgan City High School principal and St. Mary Parish Principals Association president Mickey Fabre said Thibodeaux has worked closely with the parish’s principals during the past decade.
“He has listened to our concerns, teamed with us to develop solutions to our problems, provided frequent guidance and support, and given solid advice utilizing sound judgment when extraordinary situations have developed at schools during his tenure. He has been a pleasure to work with for many years and will be extremely difficult to replace. He is truly a friend and mentor to many of the principals currently serving this parish and has earned our loyalty, trust, and respect. We would all like to thank him for his dedicated service to this district and wish him much happiness and contentment during his retirement,” Fabre said.
Applications are being taken for his replacement through March 30. Aguillard said interviews will be scheduled April 2 and 3, with announcement of his replacement at the school board’s April meeting. Thibodeaux’s official retirement is in June.