A new principal for Northside High could be selected soon.
Three candidates were selected for the job, and interviews are planned next week, said Bruce Leininger, human resources director for Lafayette Parish schools.
The qualified applicants are: Mikal Stall, a teacher at Comeaux High School with administrative experience; Julia Williams, an assistant principal at Northside High; and Mary Yvonne Zeno, an assistant principal at Lafayette High School and former interim principal at Northside.
Interim Superintendent Burnell LeJeune said he planned to introduce a new principal for the high school by the School Board’s first meeting in May — May 6.
A search for a new principal began last month following the resignation of Melinda Voorhies. Voorhies was recruited by then-Superintendent Pat Cooper to lead the school’s turnaround in 2012.
She’s said she decided to resign before the end of the school year after a meeting last month with LeJeune about the school’s future. She said she was told then she wasn’t the “right person” to move the school forward.
Since Voorhies’ departure, Williams, Assistant Principal Barbara Landor and a third substitute assistant principal have led the school with the support of its academic officer, Virginia Rabalais.
The school is home to one of the newest schools of choice options in the district — a broadcast journalism academy — and also a legal studies academy that capitalizes on the success of the school’s award-winning mock trial team.
The next principal will lead Northside’s efforts to improve its performance. The school received an F letter grade for its 2013-14 performance based on Louisiana Department of Education accountability standards. When the letter grades were released last fall, Cooper attributed the decline at Northside and other schools to the school system’s transition of overage students to their age-appropriate campuses.
In recent weeks, the school system also started a search to fill a principal position at Carencro Middle following the resignation of Spurgeon Banyard earlier this month. Applications for that position are open until April 24.
Banyard resigned following the suspension of his educational certificate by the Louisiana Department of Education. On Tuesday, a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education committee revoked Banyard’s certificate because he did not provide documentation that nullified a prior felony conviction for embezzlement of $541 nearly 20 years ago in Jackson, Mississippi.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.