St. Mary superintendent search could take 6 months
By: JEAN L. KAESS
If St. Mary Superintendent Donald Aguillard were to be selected to the position of Lafayette Parish superintendent, it would trigger a series of events in St. Mary Parish lasting at least six months while his replacement is found.
School Board President Roland Verret said as soon as the board would receive word that Aguillard was chosen, a meeting would be called to choose an interim superintendent from within the school system.
That person would serve until the end of the school year June 30.
Other than “someone on staff,” the name of the interim superintendent is pure speculation, Verret said, and it is entirely too soon to speculate because it is still hoped that Aguillard will stay in St. Mary Parish.
There are “several highly qualified and highly trained individuals” who could step into that position, board member Murphy Pontiff of Franklin noted.
Meanwhile, should it be necessary, the board will begin a search for another superintendent in March or April.
The reasoning behind waiting until spring is two-fold, Verret said. It allows the board to both widen its field of candidates, as qualified candidates are more likely to apply toward the end of a school year; and doing so will allow the system to start a new school year with a new superintendent on board.
The board is required to advertise for candidates for at least 30 days, and the selection process can be completed in as little as three months. Depending on the number of applicants the process generates, two rounds of interviews could be required, possibly extending the selection process.
In 2004, when Aguillard was chosen, eight candidates applied for the position, and that process from application to selection took three months. Contrast that with the 26 that applied for the Lafayette Parish position: The timeline from the beginning of applications Aug. 1 to the scheduled selection Dec. 7 is just over four months.