Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent DC Machen has announced his intent to retire, with a tentative date of July 1, 2016.
Machen made the surprising announcement at the conclusion of the school board’s regular session meeting Thursday night.
“In August 2013, the Bossier Parish School Board graciously provided me an extended contract to December 31, 2016. Whereas, I was and continue to be most grateful and appreciative of this vote of confidence by the board, I shared with the board at that time that I did not anticipate requesting a continuation of my contract beyond that date. Let’s face it 43 years is enough.”
He continued: “After much prayer and consideration, I am notifying the board of my intent to retire. I base my considerations on these issues. While the Bossier Parish School Board budget is sound and the board has consistently demonstrated exemplary fiscal responsibility…it’s inevitable that with an estimated $2 billion state [budget] deficit projected for next year, our board is going to be faced with funding cuts. I feel the superintendent select needs to be a stakeholder fully involved with the system to understand and assess the impact of potential adjustments that must be made.”
Machen added that this will be especially important with the understanding that Frank Rougeau, Bossier Schools Director of Finance, Business Affairs & Insurance, has also tentatively planned his retirement from the Bossier Parish school system at the end of August 2016. Machen feels that bringing in a new superintendent in mid-year would not be “advantageous” to the entire school system.
“I feel that it would be in the best interest of the district, as well as for the superintendent select, to have a district leadership team in place, ready to roll at the start of the new [school] year,” he said.
Lastly, Machen said he finally feels like it’s time to retire.
“It’s not an easy decision to make,” he said, overwhelmed with emotion as he spoke. “I’ve always been told when the time comes, you will know it.”
Machen said he feels at peace with his decision. He looks forward to spending time with his wife, attending events and activities for his grandchildren and fishing in the spring and fall “when everyone else gets to enjoy the good fishing.”
Most importantly, Machen said he is looking forward to what God has planned for this new chapter in his life.
“It is with deepest gratitude that I express my appreciation for the blessings that the Bossier Parish school board has provided me for the past 42 years as a part of this school family. I look forward to being part of the extended school family as well.”
Machen said it takes approximately two to three months to conduct a superintendent’s search “with fidelity.” He feels as though by making the announcement now, it will allow the school system adequate time to have someone in place prior to his exit.
Mike Mosura, District 5 representative, will chair the search committee. Mosura told the Bossier Press-Tribune following Thursday night’s meeting that the search committee will begin work immediately.
The Bossier Press-Tribune will be following this search closely and will provide more information as it develops.