Update: During a special board meeting, members of the Lafayette Parish School Board cut the remaining list of 12 superintendent applicants down to three.
The list has been narrowed down to Donald Aguillard, Carlos Sam and Francis Touchet. Aguillard is the current St. Mary Parish School superintendent. Sam is the Associate Superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish schools. Touchet is a network leader for the State Department of Education.
The candidates will be interviewed on April 22nd.
The interim superintendent says the board has had time to review the applications. On Thursday’s meeting they are going to narrow the 12 applicants down to three finalists, and come back in about two weeks to conduct interviews. They will proceed with those interviews publicly.
In about three months, Interim Superintendent Burnell LeJeune is set to retire. Before he heads out, the board intends to fill his seat with a permanent person. The interim says he has assumed the responsibility 100%. “The board has basically said is that we’ve been elected by the people to make that decision. That’s one of the most important things a board can do is select the superintendent.”
On April 22nd the board will interview each remaining applicant and allow the public to ask a few which LeJeune says, “From my understanding they are going to develop their own questions and they’re also going to may be take some questions in writing from the public and use some of those questions or maybe not .”
Ella Arsement is a familiar face at the school board meetings. Arsement submitted questions to her district board member for him to ask. “I’d like to know what the new superintendent is going to bring to the table that will be different than what we have already been offered by past superintendents.” Arsement acknowledges the challenges previous superintendents and some board members had in the past. However, she remains adamant children must come first “And yes it is important that they get along, but education is number one to me.”
The interim says the board intends to make a final selection for a new superintendent of Lafayette Parish Schools by April 29th.