Time for a new Lafayette High? Board to consider first steps: hiring an architect, completing a study _lowres

Advocate file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Lafayette High School

Former Lafayette High Assistant Principal Donald Thornton Jr. will return to the campus as its principal, Superintendent Donald Aguillard announced Thursday.

Thornton replaces Patrick Leonard, who retired June 30 after serving as the school’s principal for the past 12 years.

Thornton returns after serving as principal at Lafayette Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Thornton has held a number of different positions in the district: social studies teacher at Comeaux High, lead high school teacher at N.P. Moss Prep and assistant principal at Lafayette High and Paul Breaux Middle.

Based on its enrollment of more than 2,400 students, Lafayette High is the largest school in the state. On Wednesday, the School Board approved the hiring of an architectural firm to analyze the feasibility of building a replacement facility for the high school.

Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.