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With Narcisse departure, EBR will seek fourth superintendent in four years

1 month 1 week 5 days ago Friday, January 19 2024 Jan 19, 2024 January 19, 2024 10:13 AM January 19, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

With Sito Narcisse's departure imminent, the East Baton Rouge Parish School District will seek its fourth superintendent in as many years.

The School Board last month rejected a new contract for the embattled superintendent, deeming him unworthy of a new three-year pact that would have given him a 21.6 percent pay raise. The vote came after recent bumbles by Narcisse and the district.

Transportation problems fueled rampant dissatisfaction with the school system, and drivers conducted a one-day strike, forcing the district to call off classes. 

Last year, some students said they were upset at what was billed as a college- and career-fair field trip. The district-sponsored event was actually run by a religious group, at a church, and included religious overtones and discussions about sexual abstinence.

School Board leaders said Friday they had worked out a severance deal with Narcisse that would be considered at a special board meeting Monday.

An interim superintendent could be named as early as Saturday and on the job Monday. If ultimately hired this year as expected, the new fulltime superintendent would be the fourth to head the state's second-largest traditional school district in as many years. Here's who has led the 41,000-student district 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.

The new deal would have eventually made Narcisse the highest-paid superintendent in the state, at nearly $350,000.

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