EBR school board names 3 superintendent finalists

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge's school board has three finalists for superintendent.

Marie Pitre-Martin was one of the six finalists from the first attempt to find a new superintendent.  She is the director of K-12 curriculum and instruction for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Bernard Taylor had previously applied for the position.  He is currently the superintendent of Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The third candidate, H. Allen Smith II, is applying for the position for the first time.  He is executive director of the Summit Schools Network in Denver.

The disagreement among board members Thursday night? Whether it's necessary to bring all three candidates back for interviews or only two since Marie Pitre-Martin was intensively interviewed the last round.

"We've heard from one of the finalists. I don't see the need of bringing that person back," said EBR School Board Vice-President Tarvald Smith.

"I'd like to see all three candidates as there may be new questions that may be in this round," said School Board member Jill Dyason.

But in a 6-5 vote, the motion failed - meaning all three candidates are coming back.

The first round, their one and only finalist backed out. This time around, many are asking the same question -- what's more important, politics or children, since the board is not on the same page, be it the candidates or the process of finalizing the next leader.

"You've gotten rid of a slate of excellent superintendents, and now you going to play with kids' lives with secondary people," said Cornell Washington.

The board is not on a deadline to pick a superintendent. Interim Superintendent Carlos Sam will remain in place till they decide on one.

The interview process for the three finalists next week will be released Friday and it will be open to the public.

This is the school board's second attempt to replace John Dilworth, whose last day was February 24th.

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