LAFAYETTE — Scott Middle School principal John Pate now completes the Lafayette Parish School Board’s list of top 10 superintendent candidates following another candidate’s withdrawal, the board’s search committee decided Friday.

The full board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday to finalize the decision and pin down other search-related issues.

The board met Oct. 18 to select its top 10 of 26 applicants who will be interviewed. Pate ranked 11th after voting.

Pate will replace Pat Cooper of New Orleans, president and chief executive officer of the Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation, who withdrew his application because he would be unable to take the job until May 2012.

Superintendent search coordinating members Mark Allen Babineaux and Tommy Angelle met for the brief session Friday. Committee member Hunter Beasely was absent.

The committee recommended that interviews be held on Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.

The board randomly drew candidate names to set its interview order, but Angelle suggested that each candidate be given the set of questions at the same time prior to the interviews.

“If I’m candidate number 10, I know all the questions. I think you’re giving an unfair advantage,” Angelle said.

He added that board members’ questions wouldn’t be limited to the set.

The board’s superintendent search questions committee meets at 6 p.m. Monday to finalize the interview questions.

Those questions will be up for board approval at the board’s Tuesday meeting.

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