The Lafayette Parish School Board unanimously voted education veteran, Dr. Donald Aquillard, to the role of superintendent.
Aguillard was one of two candidates interviewed by the board during a special meeting Wednesday night.
Once the vote was received, Aguillard told News Ten he is eager to begin working. “I am prepared to work in Lafayette Parish and bring the parish back to an “A’ school district.”
Aguillard spent 28 years in working in the education system in Lafayette Parish before accepting the position of St. Mary Parish Superintendent in 2004. Since then he is credited with helping to shorten the learning gap between African-American and other students in the district, as well as lessening the amount of students in need of special education.
“We worked with our students to make sure they were getting the remediation they needed before it was too late, “said Aguillard.
Although he is currently the acting superintendent in another parish, Aguillard said he is able to give a two week notice.
“Pending a successful contract negotiation here, I can begin working in mid-May.”
Aguillard mentioned a willingness to get to work quickly in order to review the district’s budget and make appropriate suggestions and changes.
THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
The school board spent almost three hours interviewing Aguillard and Francis Touchet.
The two candidates were each given an hour and a half to give presentations and answer a series of complex questions. The nine questions posed to each candidate ranged in topic from accomplishments to high risk school, budgets and classroom discipline. Each candidate sat in a different part of the school board building, while the other went through the process.
Following the interview process, the board weighed each candidate’s answers and voted on which one would be represent and help 30,000 Lafayette students achieve higher education goals. Touchet said, “I am very happy with the interview process and I believe the board had a tough decision to make and I respect their decision.”
Touchet, who spent 25 years working in Vermilion Parish, advanced from biology teacher to principal at Erath High. The last three years have been spent working as a network leader for the state. “I work closely with superintendents in several parishes to help sort through finances and to help set up programs to help students and teacher development. I will continue to work for the state and help our kids get the education that they need.”