The St. Mary Parish School Board will start interviewing applicants soon to find a replacement for Don Aguillard, who started Monday at his new job as superintendent of Lafayette Parish Schools.

The application period for the St. Mary Parish vacancy closed May 13, and the School Board hopes to make its choice by mid-June from among 10 applicants, said board president Ginger Griffin.

The Acadiana Advocate requested a copy of the applications of the candidates on Tuesday; however, Griffin said the applications have not been opened yet.

“So far, we’ve received 10 applications, but applications have been placed in a lock box upon receipt by the board secretary and have remained confidential,” Griffin said.

The Lafayette Parish School Board followed a similar application procedure, citing a desire not to thwart potential candidates. The applications are public records.

Griffin said the board plans to open the applications on Wednesday and a news release with the names of applicants will be released by the interim superintendent, Teresa Bagwell.

Griffin said the board made the decision to keep applicants confidential so potential candidates wouldn’t be dissuaded from applying.

The board is searching for a superintendent who has a minimum of 10 years of experience in education, including five years of administrative experience and five years of teaching experience.

The advertised salary range for the job is between $120,000 and $135,000.

Based on the performance of its schools, St. Mary Parish received a B from the state Department of Education.

Aguillard touted the performance scores in St. Mary Parish during his interview with the Lafayette Parish School Board. He noted efforts to help struggling third graders with the creation of a summer school program to better prepare them for the fourth grade, which traditionally has been a high-stakes testing grade. Other interventions for struggling students have also been implemented in the parish, which has helped close the achievement gap.

Aguillard was superintendent of St. Mary Parish schools for the past 11 years.

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