BAKER — The Baker School Board has named Herman Brister Sr. as the sole finalist of the eight applicants for superintendent of schools.
The unanimous decision came Wednesday night after a closed-door session of nearly an hour.
The next step for Brister, an administrator with the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, is an interview with the Baker School Board at 6 p.m. May 26. The public will be allowed to ask questions during the interview, scheduled at the Baker School Board office, 14750 Plank Road.
Brister, who serves as associate superintendent for student support services in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, applied for Baker superintendent in 2007 but was not selected as a finalist.
He spent four years as chief academic officer for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system and applied twice to be its superintendent. He did not apply during the parish school system’s most recent search. Former Zachary Superintendent Warren Drake was hired for the parish position on April 2.
Brister graduated from Southern University in 1976 and received a master’s degree in special education from LSU in 1979. He has held various positions in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system since 1997, including principal of Capitol Middle School.
The Baker superintendent position is opening after outgoing Baker Superintendent Ulysses Joseph submitted his resignation March 31, the same day the district’s former maintenance supervisor Emmit Whitfield was arrested for the third time, accused of stealing from the school system.
Joseph, who will leave his position May 28, has said his early retirement is not related to Whitfield’s arrest. Joseph’s contract was due to expire in December.
The other applicants for the Baker superintendent job are:
Susan Deion Moore, executive director of curriculum and instruction for K-12 for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system
Hamilton Brock, principal of Baker Alternative School
Patrick Jenkins, director of operations for Zachary Community Schools
Arronza Major LaBatt, executive director to the deputy superintendent of schools in the Montgomery County, Maryland, public school system
Victoria Bridges, director of federal programs for the Keller Independent School District in Keller, Texas
Rodriguez F. Broadnax, parent engagement officer for Indianapolis Public Schools
Curt R. Green, principal of East Feliciana High School.
Broadnax and Green submitted their applications after the Friday deadline. Baker school system attorney Winston DeCuir explained that normally late applications would be discarded but the board could vote to consider them. Board members Dana Carpenter, Doris Alexander, Shona Boxie and Rosatina Johnson voted to consider the late applications. Board President Elaine Davis abstained without stating a reason.
At the board’s May 5 meeting, Davis said the board expects to have a new superintendent in place by June 1 and no interim superintendent will be appointed.