Six individuals, including two top administrators in the East Baton Rouge Parish school district and one in Zachary, applied by a Friday deadline to become the next superintendent of public schools in Baker.
The Baker School Board is meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, likely behind closed doors, to determine which of these applicants it will bring back on May 26 to interview. After the interviews, and after questions from members of the public, the board plans to make its selection.
The person chosen will replace Ulysses Joseph, who announced on March 31 that he’s retiring as superintendent effective May 28, seven months earlier than the expiration of his contract. He’s led Baker schools for more than four years.
None of the applicants have experience as a superintendent, but they all either work in or have connections to the Baton Rouge area.
The latest applicants are Patrick Jenkins, director of operations for Zachary Community Schools, and Hamilton Brock, principal of Baker Alternative Learning Center.
At The Advocate’s request, Winston Decuir Sr., the attorney for Baker schools, provided copies of the six applications late Tuesday. Decuir said two more individuals applied after the 4 p.m. Friday deadline. He said he didn’t know their names or have copies of their applications.
Jenkins and Brock are the only applicants whose identities had not been previously released publicly.
The best known applicant is Herman Brister Sr., associate superintendent for student support services for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. Brister applied for Baker superintendent in 2007, but was not selected as a finalist.
Brister, who has spent his career with the parish school system, served four years as its chief academic officer and twice sought unsuccessfully to become its superintendent, falling short despite vocal supporters. Brister did not apply a third time during the most recent search, which ended with the April 2 hiring of former Zachary Superintendent Warren Drake to take over the parish school system.
Another applicant from the East Baton Rouge Parish Central Office is Susan Deion Moore, who serves as an executive director of curriculum and instruction. Prior to coming to East Baton Rouge in 2012, Moore worked for five years for the Recovery School District in New Orleans, including three years as vice principal of Cohen High School. She worked 14 years for the pre-Katrina New Orleans public school system.
Jenkins has worked for Zachary since it broke away from the East Baton Rouge Parish school system in 2003, the same year Baker gained independence. Prior to becoming director of operations in 2012, Jenkins served as a principal and an assistant principal in Zachary.
He formed and spent three years as principal of the Port Hudson Career Academy. Before joining Zachary schools, he was a math teacher at West Feliciana middle and high schools, and taught math at Istrouma High in Baton Rouge.
Brock is a veteran eductor who has held many positions, including assistant principal at Baker Middle School for three years.
The two applicants from out of state are Arronza Major LaBatt, executive director to the deputy superintendent of schools in the Montgomery County, Maryland, public school system, and Victoria Bridges Miles, director of federal programs for the Keller Independent School District in Keller, Texas. LaBatt is a former Baker High and Glen Oaks High science teacher. Miles, a 1977 graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, applied unsuccessfully in the recent East Baton Rouge Parish school superintendent search.