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Will EBR schools need a fourth superintendent in four years? Here's who's been through the revolving door

2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Friday, December 08 2023 Dec 8, 2023 December 08, 2023 11:18 AM December 08, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: News

It looks like the East Baton Rouge Parish school system will soon seek a fourth superintendent since 2020.

School Board members voted Thursday night against giving embattled Superintendent Sito Narcisse a new three-year contract after his current deal expires June 30. The board hasn't charted a path forward.

A replacement would the fourth person to lead the 41,000-student district. Here's who's led the schools recently:

WARREN DRAKE

Drake was superintendent from 2015 to 2020, and gave the School Board 14 months' notice that he would leave in June 2020. School leaders discussed hiring a search firm in the weeks after Drake's announcement, and eventually hired one in October 2019.

A list of two dozen applicants was trimmed to five finalists in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic emerged. Ultimately, the board hired Leslie Brown from the Broward County, Florida, school system to start in the summer of 2020.

LESLIE BROWN

Brown resigned in October 2020, citing health issues. A search firm began taking applications less than two weeks later, and Narcisse was hired in 2021.

SITO NARCISSE

Narcisse started in January 2021. Last spring, he was a finalist to become superintendent of the Broward County district — the same district from where Brown moved to Baton Rouge. After he did not win the job, the East Baton Rouge board voted 8-1 to work on a contract renewal.

Despite the initial move to secure Narcisse's services through the 2026-27 school year, his tenure was still controversial.

This academic year had a rocky start, with transportation problems fueling rampant dissatisfaction with the school system. Drivers conducted a one-day strike, forcing the district to call off classes.

Last year, some students said they were traumatized by a school-sponsored event billed as a college and career fair field trip. The "Day of Hope" was actually put on by a religious group, at a church, and included religious overtones and discussions about sexual abstinence.

If EBR wants to have a set of finalists four months before Narcisse would leave, as it did during Drake's departure, it would need to start soon. It’s already two months behind where it was when Drake was leaving.

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