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EBR to search for new superintendent of schools

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BATON ROUGE - Following the unexpected departure of East Baton Rouge Schools Superintendent Leslie Brown, the school system is now responsible for finding the right candidate to take on her responsibilities. 

During the board's meeting Thursday night, members discussed potential solutions to replacing Leslie Brown, who recently stepped down due to health complications.

The School Board is implementing a six-month interim plan to maintain organizational structure before hiring a new superintendent in possibly April of 2021.

In the meantime, Superintendent Adam Smith was selected to act as interim superintendent.

Members discussed reviewing previous top candidates from the most recent search. In 2019, school board members voted unanimously to hire Austin-based JG Consulting to lead its search for a new Superintendent and plan to bring the firm back in to assist.  

The firm came with a hefty price tag in 2019, costing the school board approximately $25,000. Due to the short-lived role filled by Brown, who served as superintendent from June until September of 2020, the firm agreed to assist with the search once again, but this time free of charge.

Brown's fellow education officials say she's greatly missed, as she'd managed to earn their respect and friendship in the short time that she led the system.

Michael Gaudet, EBR School Board President told WBRZ, "She became a close personal friend and its very difficult to see any of this happen. Even though I don't know any of the details. Obviously, it's something very serious and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and her through all of this." 

Brown parted ways with EBR Schools shortly after announcing that she needed to take medical leave. 

Though neither she nor her family divulged the nature of her illness, its sudden onset seems to have had a grave impact on her life.  

For example, Brown's husband, who was tasked with informing the board of her resignation, wrote the letter in his wife's behalf because she was "unable to pen [her resignation] herself."

In the resignation letter, he thanked the board and the school system for welcoming their family into Baton Rouge.

The 62-year-old school official first disclosed her illness on Sept. 21.

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