The search for a “dynamic, motivated educational leader” for the Lafayette Parish School System is officially underway.

An advertisement for the schools superintendent job was published in The Daily Advertiser, the parish’s official journal, on Sunday to fill state law requirements linked to filling a vacant superintendent position, said Bruce Leininger, the school system’s human resources director.

The advertisement will be published in the Sunday editions of both The Advocate and Times-Picayune newspapers, as well, at the board’s request, he said. State law requires another published job announcement seeking applications in the official journal, which is scheduled the second weekend in March.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 27 and an online application is available at The ad calls for a “dynamic, motivated education leader” who has a “strong background in educational leadership, a collaborative management style and excellent communication skills.”

Other preferred qualifications include a minimum of 10 years in preschool through grade 12 education, including at least five years of administrative experience and at least five years of teaching experience. Experience working with school and district budgets also is desirable.

The School Board had hoped to delay a search until next year because a difficult budget planning session is expected in the coming weeks. However, those plans changed after interim Superintendent Burnell LeJeune announced plans to retire this summer, ending his more than 40-year career in education.

LeJeune was appointed as interim superintendent in mid-November, days after the then-board’s 7-2 vote to terminate then-Superintendent Pat Cooper.

Cooper was one of 26 applicants for the superintendent job in 2011 that attracted interest from out-of-state applicants. The then-board narrowed the field down to 10 who were interviewed in public sessions that led to the selection of three finalists. That process took several months. The current board plans to conduct its interviews in April and May and make a decision before the end of the school year.

Leininger said the job also has been posted on the online job search site Career Builder, and notices of the vacancy also will be posted on Teach Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Education’s jobs site, and websites of the Louisiana School Boards Association and the statewide superintendents association.

The website shows at least two other school districts have launched superintendent searches: East Baton Rouge Parish, with a deadline of March 13 for applications, and Pointe Coupee Parish, with a deadline of March 12.

Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.