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Lottie Beebe

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Lottie Beebe

Lottie Polozola Beebe
Member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for District 3
Assumed office
January 2012
Preceded by Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet
Succeeded by Sandy Holloway
Personal details
Born October 1953
Melville
St. Landry Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican
Spouse(s)

(1) Missing

(2) Joseph Richard "Rick" Pearson, Sr.[1]
Children

Jeremy R. Beebe
Tony James Beebe
Stepchildren:
Joseph Richard "Joey" Pearson, Jr.
Eric Blair Pearson

Carrie A. Pearson
Parents Domminick and Betty Dukes Polozola
Residence Breaux Bridge
St. Martin Parish
Alma mater

Melville High School
Louisiana State University University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Southeastern Louisiana University
Occupation School superintendent of St. Martin Parish
Religion Roman Catholic

Lottie Polozola Beebe, sometimes known as Lottie Beebe-Pearson (born October 1953),[2] is the superintendent of public schools in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana,[3] who is also a Republican departing member of the eleven-person Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for District 3 in South Louisiana. She had been an intraparty critic of Governor Bobby Jindal particularly in regard to educational policies.[4]

District 3 includes all or portions of these parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, and St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and Vermilion.[5]

Background

A native of Melville in St. Landry Parish, Beebe was a daughter of the late Dominic Polotzola and the former Betty Dukes, later Betty Wyble (1935-2010).[6] Lottie Polotzola apparently dropped the "t" from her maiden name. She graduated in 1971 from Melville High School.[7] Known still as Lottie Beebe, from her first husband, she resides in Breaux Bridge with her second husband. She originally was a teacher in St. Landry Parish. For eight years, Beebe was an elected Democrat[8] on the St. Landry Parish School Board [9] in the District 5 position. While on that board, Beebe taught in St. Martin Parish, where she was, a principal for two years and the parish human resources officer.[10]

In 2013, she was promoted to superintendent of St. Martin Parish while remaining in her second year on the BESE board; the St. Martin position pays $121,000 annually.[11] Beebe obtained her master's degree from Louisiana State University.[1] She received her doctoral degeee in educational leadership from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Southeastern Louisiana University Consortium.[12]

Beebe is currently married to Joseph Richard "Rick" Pearson, Sr. (born February 1952), formerly of Lamar in Johnson County in northwestern Arkansas, who ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for the District 6 seat on the St. Martin Parish School Board. He was defeated by a fellow Republican, Robert E. Hollier.[13] Together the Pearsons have five children.[1]

BESE board

Days after joining the BESE board, Beebe in January 2012 cast the only dissenting vote to Governor Jindal's nomination of John C. White as the Louisiana state superintendent of education. She had called for a greater talent search in choosing a new superintendent.[4] White is considered a "wunderkind" type of educator, trained at Eli Broad's Superintendent's Academy,[14] and an advocate of a plethora of modern educational reforms and innovations, such as Common Core State Standards Initiative, expanded charter schools, educational vouchers, and enhanced teacher evaluations of instruction.[15] When the roll was called on White's confirmation, Beebe replied, "Emphatic, no."[16] Her BESE colleagues, however, have praised White for his willingness to tackle tough problems and his endeavors to bring dissenting groups together.[16]

Beebe won her seat from District 3 in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011, when she unseated the Democrat Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet (born 1926) of Houma in Terrebonne Parish, 68,079 votes (55.8 percent) to 53,986 (44.2 percent).[17]

Buquet, who carried Jindal's endorsement despite their partisan difference, had announced her support for John White as superintendent, one of the differences between the two candidates in the race. Upon her defeat, Buquet, who served on the board for twenty years, urged Beebe to back Jindal's reform agenda undertaken by BESE, particularly attempts to increase literacy and to enhance teacher evaluations of instruction.[4]

On April 10, 2012, BESE member Beebe appeared on The Moon Griffon Show, a statewide radio talk show program. In the broadcast Beebe told Griffon that she believed Governor Jindal had pushed for his educational reform package so quickly without proper dissent being aired so that he could attend the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, as a "shining star" of his party.[18]

Beebe remains the most outspoken dissenter on the BESE board, the president of which is Chas Roemer, older son of former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. She argues that White has hired "inexperienced out-of-staters" in the state department of education. Beebe said that she does not rely on teacher unions for her comments, as her critics contend: "My talking points are my talking points." She questions why so many BESE votes are nine-to-two and considers her colleagues, with the exception of Democrat Carolyn Hill of Baton Rouge, another frequent dissenter, "great people" [but] "rubber stamps" for the Jindal-White educational agenda.[11]

Known for her opposition to the Common Core program, Beebe was handily unseated in the primary election held on October 24, 2015, by another Republican, Sandy Holloway, an educator from Thibodaux in Lafourche Parish, 46,605 (38.6 percent) to 74,078 (61.4 percent).[5]

References

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  9. ^ Active employees of a school district in Louisiana cannot serve on that school board, but retired employees may do so. School district employees may serve on a school board in another parish where they reside but are not employed by that school district.
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Preceded by
Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet
Member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Lottie Polozola Beebe
2012–2016

Succeeded by
Sandy Holloway (pending)
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