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EBR's superintendent candidates make their own videotaped pitches for top schools job

2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago Wednesday, June 26 2024 Jun 26, 2024 June 26, 2024 5:04 PM June 26, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Mia Monet

BATON ROUGE — The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board this week is expected to narrow its list of superintendent candidates from five to three, or perhaps fewer, as it hopes to have a new leader in place by July 11.

The leaders of Louisiana's second-largest school district recently asked the semifinalists to provide videotaped statements, and WBRZ has posted them to its website. The candidates hope to replace Sito Narcisse, who took a buyout in January after the board voted to not renew his contract.

The board applicant interviews are available here, and a brief summary of their careers is below:

Kevin George, director of the LSU Lab School in Baton Rouge.

Patrick Jenkins, chief operations officer for the Jefferson Parish school system.

Krish Mohip, chief education officer for the Illinois State Board of Education.

Adam Smith, interim superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.

Andrea Zayas, former chief academic officer of Boston Public Schools.

Seventeen candidates applied, but one withdrew nearly immediately. The board then advanced five semifinalists. Smith and George received the highest number of votes to advance. The list is set to be pared Friday.

After the finalists are selected, panels that include parents, principals, teachers, business leaders and community leaders will conduct interviews on July 8. The next day, the candidates will tour three schools then submit to 90-minute interviews with the board.

A new superintendent is scheduled to be named on July 11.

East Baton Rouge has more than 40,000 students.

George has been director of the LSU Lab School since May 2021 after nine months as the chief schools accountability officer  in the New Orleans public schools. For a year, he was chief executive officer of the New Beginnings School Foundation, and that followed six years as superintendent of the St. John the Baptist Parish schools. 

Jenkins has been chief operations officer in Jefferson Parish Schools since 2023, after seven years as superintendent of the St. Landry Parish school system. For four years, he was director of operations in the Zachary schools. 

Mohip has been chief education officer in Illinois since 2022 and served as its interim state superintendent for two months in 2023. Previously, Mohip was chief of schools in Chicago and chief executive officer of Youngstown, Ohio, schools. 

Smith has been interim superintendent since January and also was interim superintendent from October 2020 to January 2021. He has held a number of posts in the district since starting as a school teacher in 1996.

Zayas was chief academic officer in the Boston school system from 2019 to 2021 after previously being its deputy chief and academic superintendent. In Louisiana, Zayas was the national director of regional leadership development for the KIPP Foundation. Zayas was also director of charter school accountability in the New York City schools.

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