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EBR Schools leader pursuing superintendent job in Florida

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BATON ROUGE - Dr. Sito Narcisse, the superintendent for the East Baton Rouge School System, has applied to be the head of one of the largest school districts in the country.

A list published by Broward County Public Schools on Thursday named Narcisse among the candidates. He was one of a handful who applied after the district extended the deadline for applications.

Read Dr. Sito Narcisse's application here

WBRZ caught up with Narcisse at an event late Friday morning and asked him about his decision to seek another job. He says he was asked to apply because of his work in Baton Rouge and insisted that his focus is still on EBR right now.

"I was invited as a candidate, so I agreed to consider, to go through that process," Narcisse told WBRZ. "My focus is in East Baton Rouge, then I'll go through the process and see what happens."

The Broward County school board is expected to curate a list of semi-finalists at a special meeting on May 22, 2023.

Narcisse was first named as the head of the EBR school system in January 2021. Since then, he's faced pushback from district employees over staffing shake-ups and a controversial field trip that raised concerns from some parents.

Read the letter Narcisse shared with school board members Thursday.

Dear Board Members,

 When I decided to devote my life and career to public education, it was with the specific intent to level the learning field for all students – particularly those who have been overlooked and underserved. For some students, that has meant working to give them in-school access to equitable resources and great teachers and, for others, it has been moving initiatives that support my belief that every single child can learn. 

When given the opportunity to become the superintendent of EBR Schools, I felt the calling was meant for me. After being chosen, I jumped in with both feet and a clear focus on the mission ahead. We quickly developed a very deliberate student-focused strategic plan with key performance indicators that would drastically improve outcomes for all students.  This approach has served as the guiding blueprint for budgeting over the past few years to ensure our priorities align with the strategic plan and budget.

The clarity provided has allowed us to focus on improving literacy rates through a $20 million investment in instructional materials and hiring 53 literacy coaches; expanding preschool seats by 2,200 to promote early literacy and kindergarten readiness; implementing bold programs like Focus Choice Schools and Pathways to Bright Futures to provide students the greatest scope of career and college options ever offered in this district; and doubling down on the 9th grade support to improve the number of students on-track to graduate on time from 67% to 82%.  

It has also been my intention to ensure the most responsible allocation and use of the tax dollars invested by our community in the education of our young people. This is evidenced by the $111 million surplus balance at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, which is the largest surplus in district history by miles. We also developed and executed a campaign strategy that garnered victory in the EBR tax renewal election in April, accounting for a critical $80 million for student resources and teacher raises.

It’s clear that we have moved swiftly and intentionally, and it has been humbling to have these strategic efforts garner national attention.  Education partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Apple, T-Mobile and numerous others have recognized our momentum and invested in our ongoing efforts to support this positive trajectory for students. In fact, tonight, we will be receiving $1 million from ExxonMobil for STEM and literacy. These partnerships, faith in our strategic direction and proven student outcomes have squarely placed EBR Schools in the education conversation from coast to coast. 

I want to be clear that my ambition remains fueled by driving the largest impact I can for all kids, and I believe our plan - engineered by design in EBR Schools – will ensure we continue to see growth and elevated success for all students across our district. With that practical reality in mind, it should come as no surprise that our achievements and external conversations have led to several large, urban school districts expressing interest not only in our accomplishments, but also in my leadership abilities. The level and pace of that interest have only advanced with the public knowledge that my contract as EBR Superintendent has a little over one year remaining.  

While I have consistently expressed my commitment to continue my dedicated work here in EBR in every conversation I’ve had here and with those gauging my interest in new leadership opportunities, I was recently contacted by the search firm tasked with identifying the next Superintendent position in Broward County Public Schools (Florida). They suggested that I consider submitting my name for consideration as a candidate. BCPS, the 6th largest school district in the United States, serves approximately 260,000 students and is making a tremendous impact on all of those children and their families.

In the spirit of full transparency, I am making it known that I have agreed to have my name considered as a candidate for that position. Given that my EBRPSS contract is ending in one year and taking into account my lifelong mission to drive demonstrative impact for as many students and families as possible, this opportunity feels particularly important and worthy of consideration.

I have always been honest with you and will continue to be. I believe that promptly sharing this new opportunity is the right and respectful course of action as a colleague, leader, and community member. I remain open to discussions about how I might remain here in EBR, which has been my wholehearted desire since my feet touched the ground in the capital city. However, I also have an obligation to my family and my core value of driving big change and bold innovations for all students.

Please know that my commitment to the success of EBR Schools remains as steadfast today as it was when I relocated to this wonderful community in early 2021. I continue to be open to conversations about a partnership that ensures my leadership not just today – but for years to come. Knowing I am creating a positive impact continues to carry me even in the most challenging circumstances, as I have full faith in the long-term strategies we’ve developed and the verifiable academic progress that has already begun.  Make no mistake, we are in a strong position to continue that progress.  

While no one knows what the future holds, my commitment to courageous leadership and being part of a team that continues to make strong strides for students will remain the top priority.




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