Dr. Donald Aguillard will interview for the position of Lafayette superintendent Nov. 3.
The 11 candidates vying to become the next superintendent of the Lafayette Parish School System were notified via email Wednesday of their respective interview dates and times, which will be held via Skype or in person depending on where the candidate lives.
The first cut, from 26 to 10 semi-finalists, occurred after the Lafayette Parish School Board used resumes to determine which candidates would move on.
An 11th candidate was added as a result of board member missteps in which a candidate was misinformed that he would be disqualified.
This round of interviews, taking place between Monday and Friday next week, will consist of 10 minutes for a Power Point presentation regarding his or her qualifications and addressing the challenges facing the Lafayette Parish school system, a 50-minute interview that includes 10 questions and 20 minutes for follow-up questions.
Among the questions Aguillard will be asked:
—What are your successful experiences with improving discipline, and how would you apply these experiences to the Lafayette Parish School System?
—What will it take for Lafayette Parish schools to make significant progress in reducing the achievement gap? What experience have you had in reducing the achievement gap and leading students to significant gains?
—What would be your approach to improving teacher quality and teacher morale?
—The community recently voted two to one against a property tax to support facility needs. What would you recommend as the next steps to address facility improvement needs?
Aguillard, originally touted as the leading candidate for the position, did not lead the list of vote-getters during the Lafayette Parish School Board meeting to cull 10 candidates from the original 26.
Dr. Walter Gonsoulin Jr., who is an assistant superintendent in Mississippi but began his career as an elementary school teacher in Iberia Parish and held administrative positions in St. Martin Parish, received unanimous support from eight board members present.
Current Lafayette Parish Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services Katherine “Katie” Landry received seven votes. She has spent all of her 42-year career in Lafayette Parish.
Aguillard was one of four candidates to receive six votes in the first round of voting.
A tie-breaker vote was necessary to select the final three spots.
In addition to Aguillard, the contenders for the position are:
—Wayne Alexander, special education teacher for Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut.
—Pat Cooper, Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation Superintendent in New Orleans.
—Craig Fiegel, previously served as superintendent for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools in Michigan.
—Gonsoulin, Starkville, Miss., School District assistant superintendent.
—Luis Gonzalez, superintendent of Central Dauphin School District in Harrisburg, Pa.
—Sheila Guidry, executive director in the School Turnaround Office for the Louisiana Department of Education.
—Gary Jones, superintendent of Rapides Parish Schools.
—Landry, Lafayette Parish School System deputy superintendent.
—John Pate, Scott Middle School principal.
—Maria Pitre-Martin, director of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
All of the interviews will be held at the Lafayette Economic Development Authority located at 211 E. Devalcourt St. in Lafayette and are open to the public.