Speaking Tuesday before a packed-house meeting of the Youngsville Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper shared his optimism for achieving unity between his administration and the school board.

Remaining true to form in her absence from the annual speaking engagement for the second year, however, was Rae Trahan, who represents the Youngsville and Broussard areas on the school board.

Rae Trahan

Trahan’s feelings toward the superintendent are no secret (just watch one board meeting), but she's not doing her constituents any favors by resisting the super so much that she skips an opportunity to gather with Youngsville's business leaders because he's the speaker. A business community that appears to overwhelmingly support the super.

That, at least, is based on the favorable reaction of the more than 40 people who packed into the Youngsville City Hall for Cooper’s speech Tuesday. It’s also worth noting, that based on several sources from the District 9 area, Trahan will likely face some stiff competition come next year’s election cycle, with close to 10 possible candidates mulling a run for her seat.

Trahan’s absence from Tuesday’s meeting marks the third time she’s been a no-show for events in her district in which Cooper has been the featured speaker, missing his address last year before the Broussard Chamber of Commerce as well.

While Trahan may need some work on making the rounds within her district, she does have an impeccable record when it comes to representing her constituents on the national and state levels. Based on school board travel records obtained in a public records request submitted by The IND in May, Trahan makes up for her absences on the local stage by appearing over the last year and a half in San Diego, Boston, New Orleans, Marksville and twice in Baton Rouge.

Below is a list of the travel invoices submitted by Trahan for trips taken between Jan. 2012 and April this year:

Jan. 3-4, 2013: New Orleans; bond closing; $476.38
March 3-6, 2013: Marksville; Louisiana School Board Association Convention; $418.29
April 11-16, 2013: San Diego, Calif.; National School Board Association Conference; $2,223.38
Sept. 16-17, 2012: Baton Rouge; Louisiana School Board Association’s Trailblazer Conference; $469.81
April 20-24, 2012: Boston, Mass..; National School Board Association Conference; $1,738.83
March 28, 2012: Baton Rouge; Louisiana School Board Association Convention; $275

Click here, here and here for more on the problems Trahan experienced last year by logging 19 absences from school board functions, missing everything from special meetings to regular meetings to workshops and hearings.


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