LSMSA Board member declines reappointment after 35 years



LSMSA’s Alumni Association President Jamie Smith confirmed the resignation of Natchitoches native Lovan Thomas from the school’s Board of Directors. Thomas declined his reappointment to the board June 6 amidst political turmoil in the Senate.

Serving on the board for 35 years, two senators voiced their concern about his reappointment, according to Smith. A letter was sent to Thomas saying his services were no longer needed. After SB 1 passed, the concerned parties changed their minds and the reappointment was reinstated.

Senate Bill 1, authored by Sen. Francis Thompson, calls for the name of LSMSA to change to Jimmy D. Long Sr. Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts  to honor the Long legacy.

“It’s a shame the politics of the situation caused this to happen,” said Smith. “It brings to light to the people of the state the ugliness of how these things are handled. However, Lovan will continue to be a supporter of LSMSA and we will find a way for him to continue to be a part of the school beyond being a board member.”

4 thoughts on “LSMSA Board member declines reappointment after 35 years

  1. I applaud Mr. Thomas, for standing up for his principles. I also agree with the comments in this reply section that the money spent on the changes will cost lots of money. When you think about what it will cost in graphics, marketing, letterheads, signs, etc, it’s easy to see those funds would have been put to better use for the students than for a possibly well meaning but questionable name change that seems to be a step backwards. Those who opposed the name change pointed out quite intelligently that the current name is more inclusive and broader, which means it puts the emphasis on what the school is and does and appeals to a broader audience in and beyond the state. While Jimmy Long contributed much and is cherised locally and in the state, beyond Louisiana his name or any name of an individual doesn’t have the power of the name that’s on the building now and which is bigger than personalities. It should be about the students as well as being the best and attracting the best.
    Additionally, it sounds like political pressure was put on Mr. Thomas by the senators who were for the name change. That kind of business is slimy and cheesy and one of the things that gives Louisiana politics such a bad name worldwide. Mr. Thomas, a publisher, is quoted in his paper, the Natchitoches Times as saying, “It is a sad day when one cannot express objection in a senate committee hearing without retaliation.” The world outside, including corporations looking to relocate, will see messy stuff like the ill-advised name change and the obvious politics involved and say, “See, told you so. That’s the way they do stuff in Louisiana.”

  2. What a waste of funds that could be used for education instead on renaming the school.
    300k possibly up to 500k will be wasted on a name change instead of investing in the student’s education.
    The State of LA. Nor LSMA have that kind of discretionary funds for this purpose.

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