BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In a five to four vote, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board selected Dr. Sito Narcisse as the new leader for the school system in a meeting Thursday, January 14.
There were three candidates vying for the position of superintendent, including Interim Superintendent Adam Smith, Narcisse and Marla Sheppard.
The board members who voted for Narcisse were Evelyn Ware-Jackson, Michael Gaudet, Jill Dyason, Mark Bellue and Dadrius Lanus.
This decision comes as a huge surprise for the Baton Rouge community, as everyone who came in-person to the meeting to speak out on who they’d like as the next superintendent, wanted Adam Smith, a 24 year veteran of the school system.
Narcisse has been the Chief of Secondary Schools at District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington D.C. for the past one and a half years.
Before that for three years, Narcisse worked as the Chief of Schools for Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee.
But there is a catch, Narcisse does not have five years of teaching experience to meet the certification requirements under Louisiana law to become a superintendent. So he will have to get a waiver from the BESE board or hire a chief academic officer that does have qualifications for a superintendent almost immediately.
“Well we have several in our district who already have that qualification and there are many other people that he may or may not bring in from the outside, that could have that qualification. So it really isn’t a cost, it really isn’t a new position, it was going to be someone in his organization that would be able to carry that title,” said EBR School Board Member Michael Gaudet, who voted in favor of Narcisse.
“Tonight was about our students, it was about our schools and about our teachers. It was about all of our constituents who said that they are ready for change, transformational change in this district without waiting,” said EBR School Board Member Dadrius Lanus, who voted in favor in Narcisse.
To read Narcisse’s resume, click here.
The following information was provided by Sito Narcisse:
“I am both humbled and elated to have received the support of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board and to have the opportunity to serve the students and families of this school district. I am honored to be trusted with this life-changing work and to collaborate with an amazing team committed to being the leadership our students deserve.”
“I am excited to jump in on day one and begin the work of transforming this district into one that is focused on students first, supports and recognizes educators for the professionals they are, and is responsive to the needs of our community. I am all in and I can’t wait to continue connecting with and learning from the amazing students, educators, and families in this district so that we can make this a school system that meets every student’s needs.”
“I believe in Baton Rouge, I believe in our teachers, and most of all I believe in our students. I am excited to get to work building a brighter future in Baton Rouge for all of our children.”
Dr. Sito Narcisse is the Chief of Secondary Schools. He personally understands the challenge of being a young student trying to learn English and living between two cultures, all while navigating the American public education system. The son of Haitian immigrants, Dr. Narcisse’s family moved to Long Island, NY, in the pursuit of a better life for him and his siblings.
As an English language learner, Dr. Narcisse learned to navigate both the social and academic obstacles that confront millions of students today. His success as a student led him to enroll at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Seeing his second language as a strength, Dr. Narcisse graduated with a degree in French and pursued a Master’s Degree from Vanderbilt University in Secondary Education. Doctoral studies led him to the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy Studies and Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Narcisse has been a teacher, a principal—opening a high school in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and leading turnaround efforts in a Boston Public High School—a Director of School Performance and Acting Chief School Improvement Officer for Montgomery County Public Schools (MD), and an Associate Superintendent overseeing school improvement efforts for 74 schools in Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD). Dr. Sito Narcisse most recently served as the Chief of Schools for the Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN) supervising and supporting 167 schools in the city of Nashville.
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