After 50 years in education in Vermilion Parish, Robichaux will be retiring. It will be official in 2013.
Next school year he will be on medical leave for the entire year and then officially retire that summer.
Do not let him fool you, Robichaux is not ready to turn in that key despite being 73 years old. If his health were better, Robichaux would continue as long as he could.
“I would stay because I love it so much,” said Robichaux. “I love the community, the staff, the teachers. Those things are what I will miss.”
When school lets out May 25, it will be his final time as principal at Meaux Elementary, a place where he has been the principal since 1983. He has been there for 29 years - the longest standing principal at one school in the parish. When he took over, there were 158 students. Today, the school has 452 students.
The reality of retirement is slowly seeping in as the school year slowly comes to an end.
“It is starting to hit me,” said Robichaux. “Everything that has happened this year (in school), like a function, awards day, every little thing, those are my last ones. It has hit me. I’m prepared.”
Wednesday at the School Board meeting, his replacement will be named and the new principal will begin learning the job this summer. On Tuesday, he did not know who his replacement will be, but he did say it will be a woman because only women applied for the job.
He said if the new principal is looking for help to learn the school, he is offering his services this summer.
Throughout the years, Robichaux has elevated Meaux Elementary to being one of the top elementary schools in the district, as well as the region. The school constantly scores high on its state scores. That is something he is extremely proud of, he said. He said the school could not have accomplished so much without the help of the staff, teachers and parents of Meaux Elementary.
Another person he owes a lot of success to is his wife, Peggy. Peggy, a former educator in the parish, has been his sidekick throughout the good times and the bad times. When he needed help on weekends, Peggy was there assisting because Meaux Elementary does have an assistant principal.
“She is the love of my life,” he said. “She has always been there to help me.”
Now, she will help him enjoy retirement.