10 candidates, including Pat Cooper, on list for St. Landry superintendent

St. Landry Parish School Board member, Hazel Sias, asks questions of board president Raymond Cassimere during Thursday's school board meeting. From left are board members Charles Ross and Milton Ambres. (Photo: F. Herpin, Daily World)

(The Daily World) – The school board voted Thursday to hold a special meeting on Sept. 15 to determine the number of applicants for superintendent the board wants to interview.

Board attorney Courtney Joiner said a total of 14 applications were received, but four of the applicants did not meet all of the qualifications for superintendent set by the state board of education.

Among the 10 applicants remaining for consideration is former Lafayette Parish Superintendent Pat Cooper.

Cooper was dismissed from the Lafayette Parish school system in November 2014 and the board found Cooper guilty of inefficiency, breach of contract and failure to comply with state law, among other things.

Some of the charges against Cooper included using district funds to pay his own attorney, as well as paying some principals on a 244-day schedule, outside of the approved salary schedule.

Cooper now serves as the executive director of early childhood coalition in Point Coupee Parish, where he has been employed for the last 16 months.

The other candidates are Ina Faye Delahoussaye, director of technical assistance for school improvement in Calcasieu Parish; James Gray, director of school leadership in Vermilion Parish; Patrick Jenkins, director of operations for the Zachary Community School District; Arronza LaBatt, executive director to deputy superintendent in Montgomery County, Maryland; Charles Michel, special education director for Lafourche Parish; Esrom Pitre, associate professor at Southern University; Dinah Robinson, site supervisor for Western Governors University; Quentina Timoll, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in St. John the Baptist Parish; and Francis Touchet, network leader for the state department of education.

School board member Milton Ambres said it is important to interview each of the 10 candidates, instead of going strictly off of their well-prepared resumès.

“I want to be able to look in the person’s face and talk to them,” Ambres said. “All 10 candidates should get that chance.”

At the Sept. 15 special meeting, the board will review the community survey results, max number of applicants to interview, the amount of interview rounds and the dates and procedures for the interviews.

Superintendent applicants

Dr. Pat Cooper

Dr. Ina Faye Delahoussaye

Dr. James Gray

Dr. Curt Green

Patrick Jenkins

Dr. Arronza LaBatt

Dr. Calvin Lewis

Dr. Charles Michel

Daniel Noel

Dr. Esrom Pitre

Dr. Dinah M. Robinson

Dr. Geneva Stark

Dr. Quentina Timoll,

Francis Touchet Jr.


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