St. Landry Parish Superintendent finalists share their ideas for school system

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – Three candidates remain in the race for St. Landry Parish Superintendent and Monday the candidates got the opportunity to share their ideas with the community.

Dr. James Gray, Patrick Jenkins, and Francis Touchet are the three final candidates competing for superintendent of St. Landry Parish.

After an open interview with the school board last month, it was the community’s turn to get to know the finalists.

Gray is a native of St. Landry Parish and currently works as the Director of School Leadership for the Vermilion Parish school board. He said his main focus is on the students.

“There’s an old saying that says nothing happens in education unless it happens to a child, so we want to make sure that all of our efforts are geared towards improving education for our students.”

Jenkins, also a native of the parish, and Cooper Mill Elementary Principal said his leadership skills will make him the best candidate for the job.

“I think that having being a leader in the military and also a leader within education, I think those aspects of my career I can bring here, and also a vision. I think we need to be able to have a vision where we can rally the community as well as the staff so that we can provide a quality education to all students in St. Landry Parish.”

Touchet serves as a network leader for the Louisiana Department of Education. He said his background gives him an insight to immediate needs in the parish.

“Having the opportunity to work with schools throughout the state, work with districts throughout the state, it gives me the edge to be able to say these are the things that have worked and these are the things that have not worked. The 14 months that I’ve been here in St. Landry also gives me an extra edge so that we can actually hit the ground running on day one.”

Wednesday the candidates will have a final interview before the school board.

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