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Baker High School, Friday, August 11, 2017, in Baker, La.

Six of the eight applicants for Baker schools superintendent have worked in Baker previously and all but one is working or has worked in schools in the Baton Rouge area.

They include Baker’s current interim superintendent, an instructional coach in Baker, a former Baker High assistant principal, the former principal of a charter school in Baker, a former leadership coach of another charter school in Baker, an LSU professor who started his career teaching at Baker High, and a veteran school administrator of Baton Rouge and Zachary.

The only applicant with no previous experience in Louisiana education is a former school superintendent from Kentucky.

The names of the eight applicants were released Thursday and their applications were released Friday. The Baker School Board plans to consider the applicants for the first time when it meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

Baker City schools, located just north of Baton Rouge, is home to more than 1,100 students in five schools. Its last academic letter grade, issued by the state in 2019, was a D. Only four other school districts in the state scored worse.

Baker launched its search late last year not long after longtime Superintendent Herman Brister Sr. abruptly resigned.

De’Ette Perry is among one of two applicants who currently work for Baker schools.

Perry has been with Baker since it broke away from the East Baton Rouge Parish school system in summer 2003. In January, she was named interim superintendent in Baker. She started as principal of Baker Heights Elementary and has held a succession of Central Office jobs in Baker, most recently as the district’s K-12 instructional supervisor.

Perry has 31 years of experience in education, starting with 11 years as a classroom teacher in Baton Rouge. She has a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Timothy T. Scott is the other current Baker school employee. Currently an instructional coach, Scott has worked there for four years. But he’s run a school district before. From 2007 to 2015, he was superintendent of the 1,200-student Wilkinson County schools, located on the Mississippi border of Louisiana.

Scott has 22 years of experience in education, starting from his first job at Rosenwald Elementary in Pointe Coupee Parish, where he taught from 1998 to 2006. He has a masters of education from Southern University in Baton Rouge.

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Calvin Nicholas has worked in Baker before, serving as assistant principal of Baker High from 2013 to 2015. From 2015 until he submitted his retirement notice last October, Nicholas has been principal of East Iberville Elementary and High School in Plaquemine, which has almost 700 students.

A former football star at McKinley High and later at Grambling University, Nicholas played one season of pro football with the San Francisco 49ers before shifting to a 31-year career in education. Nicholas earned a doctorate in education in 2013 from the now shuttered Argosy University, a national, for-profit school.

He made the news in September 2015 when he was fired from Scotlandville High, where he’d recently taken over as principal, for using a stick to break up a student fight. He later won a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

Two of the applicants have worked for rival charter schools in Baker.

Clifford Wallace was the founding principal of Advantage Charter School in Baton Rouge, a K-8 school that he led from 2014 to 2018. He is now dean of instruction for Bryant & Stratton College in Cleveland, Ohio. He began his 24-year career in education as a math teacher in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, before moving into school administration. He has a Ph.D. in urban education from Cleveland State University in Cleveland.

Currently a school improvement coach for the Mississippi Department of Education, applicant Curt Green has been principal or assistant principal of seven schools in four states. His first Baton Rouge principalship was from 2004 to 2007 at Capitol High in Baton Rouge; it was split at the time into separate boys' and girls' high schools and he ran the boys school. For a few months in early 2017, Green worked as a leadership coach at Impact Charter School in Baker.

Green, a 25-year career educator, started as a middle school teacher in Anchorage, Alaska. He has a doctorate in education from St. John’s University in New York City.

Carlos Lee is an assistant professor of professional practice in the LSU School of Education, but the first 18 years of his career were spent in K-12 education. He got his start in 1994 teaching math and computer science at McKinley and Baker high schools. The rest of his career, until he went to LSU in 2012, has been in Texas public schools. He has 13 years in school administration, five of them as a school principal. He has a doctorate in education from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

During her 21 years in education, Tamara Johnson has worked in Zachary and for the Louisiana Department of Education. She has spent the past five years as an executive director for school leadership in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, leading an overhaul of the district’s alternative schools. She got her start in 1999 as a schoolteacher in Baton Rouge. She has a master’s degree in education from Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Terence “Terry” Hayes of Madisonville, Kentucky, is the only true outsider among the eight applicants, and his 28-year education career was spent in the Bluegrass state. His last three years, from 2015 to 2018 were as superintendent of McLean County, which has about 1,500 students. A one-time superintendent of the year in Kentucky, Hayes submitted his resignation in March 2018 amid accusations of sexual harassment, but local prosecutors later opted not to prosecute the case.

Hayes has a masters of arts in school administration from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.


Email Charles Lussier at clussier@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.