BAKER, LA (WAFB) - Dr. Herman Brister was unanimously elected as new Baker School System Superintendent by the Baker School Board Tuesday evening, after a public interview process.
The current superintendent, Ulysses Joseph, is set to retire on May 28. The board hopes to approve Brister's contract on that day.
It was standing room only to hear Brister's interview. He emerged as the lone candidate earlier in the month.
Brister began by giving what was part 100-day plan and part motivational speech for the community whose children he wants to lead.
"I stand before you this evening to tell you that I am your servant leader. Also I will tell you that I am also a transformational leader," Brister told the crowd.
In his plan, Brister addressed the need to rebuild community trust, to bring classrooms up to speed with technology, and to hold school leaders accountable for performance. He also presented the School Board with his plans for turning around failing schools.
However, it wasn't just Board Members the long time educator had to answer to as members of the audience were also allowed to pose questions.
"How can you help the Baker Board of Education fight off the very serious challenge that they're facing from the charter school systems?" asked one resident.
"We're competing with dollars. It's incumbent that the students in this system understand that we offer the best education that money can buy. Because it's all about dollars. At the same time, our principals and leadership in this school system must understand that this is a marketplace," replied Brister.
After answering all concerns which ranged from Common core to luring more teachers, the board moved to elect Brister.
He will officially take over after signing his contract.
Brister was previously serving as an assistant superintendent to the EBR School District.