I am a parent and a resident of Orleans Parish writing to you with regard to the Orleans Parish school system and, specifically, the superintendent search. The pace at which the School Board has moved — and is moving — is disappointing, to say the least.

Finding a new superintendent should be the No. 1 priority of the board. I have been following the process and have been active in trying to get the board to find the right person to lead our schools. Now is the perfect time for the board to focus their efforts and select the new superintendent to lead our children and provide a quality education system throughout Orleans Parish.

A lot of hard work has been done by a lot of people in order to get where we are today. We are not finished, though; there is still more to be done. We all want our children to receive a high-quality education, so we need someone who has the ability to move Orleans Parish schools in the right direction, to continue what was started and take us to the next level. We must demand excellence from our new superintendent. And we, as parents and residents, need to be just as active in support once he or she is in place. Then and only then will we see how great our schools can really be.

I am not writing this to attack the School Board — just the opposite. I am writing this to urge the board to move forward. Move beyond the decisions of the past. There needs to be an urgency placed on the selection of the right leader for our schools and students.

We are desperate for a new leader in our schools, but that leader needs to have the right qualities. We cannot let our standards slip. We need someone who can unite us and move us forward. We owe this to our children.

Mike Stenson

IT supervisor

New Orleans