New EBR school board superintendent to be picked mid January

Local News

After an unusual end to the year for the East Baton Rouge school board, this week begins one of the final rounds in a new search for a superintendent.

Leslie brown left the job in October, weeks after taking sudden medical leave. She held the top spot for less than two months. Now, three finalists are hoping to replace her.

“My hope is the person that we do pick is someone who our community can get behind, who our school system can get behind, more specifically who our parish can get behind,” EBR school board member, Dadrius Lanus, said.

In the running is interim superintendent Adam Smith, a Washington, D.C. public schools chief, Sito Narcisse; and a Kansas school official, Marla Sheppard. Interviews begin Wednesday; Sheppard is the first one up.

For each candidate, there will a 90-minute town hall for members of the public to pose questions followed by a 150-minute interview where only members of the school board can ask questions.

“I think my biggest challenge with not having a superintendent has been being able to move forward and make progress,” Mike Gaudet, EBR school board president, said.

Gaudet says whoever assumes the position, he hopes they’re ready to tackle the tough issues ahead, especially the ongoing pandemic.

“I think it’ll be good for our system and our community to know that we have a leader so we can really get into many of the important items we need to do, like strategic planning, and those sorts of things, so we can really start stepping forward into the future,” Gaudet said.

The final nominee will be chosen Thursday, Jan. 14. Gaudet says they will be expected to start as soon as possible. Both the town hall and the board interviews will be held at the school system’s professional development center, 3000 North Sherwood forest drive and streamed online.

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