Top three super candidates selected tonight

by Heather Miller

The Lafayette Parish School Board is holding a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to narrow down the superintendent applicants from 10 to three.

Two Lafayette civic groups have spoken on their top three choices for the school district's new superintendent, but Tuesday's special board meeting will determine whether the Lafayette Parish School Board agrees with their recommendations.

The Lafayette Public Education Stakeholders Council and the 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette last week recommended Dr. Pat Cooper, Donald Aguillard and Maria Pitre-Martin as their top three choices for the new top administrator of schools.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Lafayette Parish School Board will formally decide which three candidates are moving forward. A tentative timeline for the super search could mean a final decision is made as early as Dec. 7.

According to a report from The Advocate, the school board has spent roughly $6,000 so far on the superintendent selection process:

The board has spent about $6,000 to post the job announcement in online education publications and in print with Louisiana Gannett newspapers and The Advocate, said Angela Simoneaux, the district's marketing and student recruitment coordinator.

The board had budgeted a total of $10,000 for advertising costs, and the budget for travel expenses will be discussed after the finalists are selected, said Billy Guidry, the district's chief financial officer.

It's customary for the board to pay for finalists' travel and lodging, and board members have also expressed an interest in visiting the finalists' home districts. Candidates paid their own expenses for the initial interview round held Oct. 31-Nov. 4. Only one of the candidates - Craig Fiegel - interviewed via Skype.

A total of $18,000 was budgeted for the board's last superintendent search, but that was more than 10 years ago, Guidry said.

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