The Central Community School Board has scheduled interviews for next Tuesday with all three of the applicants seeking to become superintendent of the 10-year-old suburban Baton Rouge school district.
The board is interviewing the three applicants in the follow order: Paul E. Nelson, Leslie Jones and Jason Fountain.
Nelson has run two Mississippi Delta school districts, Jones is dean of the college of education at Nicholls State University, and Fountain is a veteran Central school administrator.
A veteran Central school administrator who’s risen through the ranks, the dean of education …
They are seeking to replace Central’s founding superintendent Michael Faulk, who is leaving Dec. 31 to serve in the newly created position of executive director of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.
The interview order was determined at a special board meeting late Wednesday afternoon.
Evan Alvarez, an attorney with Hammonds & Sills, pulled the names from a plastic bowl and handed them one at a time to board President David Walker.
The board on Wednesday also voted unanimously to rejigger how it will conduct interviews of the applicants.
The original plan was to interview each in 90-minute increments, with part of the interview conducted in public and the other part privately in executive session.
Now the board will hold hour-long closed sessions with each applicant one at a time, and then later hold 30-minute public interviews of each applicant. The applicants will be interviewed in the same order each time.
So, the schedule on Tuesday will be for the board to hold an executive session at 2 p.m for Nelson, 3 p.m. for Jones and 4 p.m. for Fountain. Those will take place at the main office at 10510 Joor Road.
The public interviews will move to the theater at Central High School, 10200 E. Brookside Drive. The first interview will start at 6 p.m., following the same order.
Walker said each applicant will be asked the same five questions. He said board members have yet to settle on which questions they will ask and said he’s still accepting suggestions, which people can send to his email, email@example.com.
After the interviews are over, the board will hold a reception at the high school where the public can meet the applicants informally.
Board member Willard Easley said the new interview setup will mean the public wastes less time waiting on the board to conduct its private questioning of the applicants.
“We don’t want people to wait all day for these executive sessions,” he said.
The board plans to make no decision Tuesday night. Instead, it plans to reconvene at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 in the cafeteria at Central Middle School to make a decision. The board will either choose one of the three applicants or reject them all. If it rejects them, the board plans to instead hire an interim superintendent and restart the search.
After a month of discussion, the Central School Board members finally agreed Monday to the t…
The superintendent search began in mid-August and the applications were opened Monday.
Fountain is the only in-house candidate. He’s worked in Central for almost nine years, starting as assistant principal at Tanglewood Elementary, then becoming principal of Central Middle in 2012 before moving last year to the main office to serve as director of secondary curriculum and instruction. Fountain also spent six years in higher education, working with student athletes at four universities, including LSU.
Jones has spent the past 17 years in academia as professor of education and, for the past five years, dean of the college of education at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. Nicholls is also her alma mater. Before joining higher education, Jones spent five years as a math teacher at St. James High School. For a year, she was an assistant elementary school principal in Thibodaux and then for two years was principal of Labadieville Primary School.
Nelson is the only one of three applicants who has worked as a superintendent before. He spent almost four years as leader of Concordia Parish schools, which is close in size to Central. For the past 15 months, he has led the much smaller Tensas Parish school district, 30 miles upriver from Concordia. He was employed at Concordia for 21 years, working his way up to the position of superintendent, including teaching special education and social studies at Monterey High School.