LAFAYETTE — The withdrawal of one of the School Board’s top 10 choices for superintendent may translate into a job interview for Scott Middle School Principal John Pate.
On Thursday, the School Board announced Pat Cooper, president and chief executive officer of the Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation, withdrew his application because he wouldn’t be able to take the job until May.
The board’s superintendent search coordinating committee will meet at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the School Board office to discuss replacing Cooper with the candidate with the next-highest number of votes.
Based upon voting from the board’s Oct. 18 candidate selection meeting, that open spot may go to Pate, principal of Scott Middle School. Pate previously worked for the Riverview Community Consolidated School District in East Peoria, Ill., as “superintendent/principal,” according to his résumé.
The board met in special meeting to pare its list of 26 applicants to 10 candidates for interviews.
After the first round of voting, 11 applicants emerged with four or more votes, but another round was needed to split a four-way tie among Pate, Wayne Alexander, Sheila Guidry and Maria Pitre-Martin, each with four votes.
At the end of the second round, Pate had the smallest number of votes, with support from five members in the tie-breaker.
Here’s who voted for Pate in the first round: Mark Allen Babineaux, Kermit Bouillion, Shelton Cobb, and Mark Cockerham; and in the tie-breaking second round: Tommy Angelle (who was absent from the first round of voting), Babineaux, Bouillion, Cockerham and Trahan.
Cooper had received six votes in the first round from: Greg Awbrey, Hunter Beasley, Bouillion, Tehmi Chaisson, Cobb, and Cockerham.
Candidate interviews are scheduled for the week of Oct. 31.
The superintendent search questions committee will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the School Board conference room to begin the work of selecting a question set that will be asked of each candidate.
The committee includes Cockerham, Cobb and Bouillion. Two public representatives, Margaret Trahan, who represents the Lafayette Public Education Stakeholders Council, and Chip Jackson, who represents the 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette, joined the committee for its initial session held after the board’s regular meeting Wednesday.
Jackson and Trahan were selected by their organizations to serve on the board’s interview and selection committee. They’ll have an opportunity to ask the candidates’ questions and make a recommendation on their top picks for the job.