LIVINGSTON – Before the Livingston Parish school system takes its Easter break, it will have a new superintendent in office.
That is the goal of the procedures approved Thursday by the School Board to replace retiring Superintendent Rick Wentzel.
The procedures outline the process and deadlines for applicants to submit résumés, be interviewed, and then learn the board’s decision.
The deadline for résumés is 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, and the new superintendent will begin work on Monday, April 29, said Buddy Mincey Jr., board president.
After the meeting, Mincey said applications have been received, but he did not know how many and had not looked at them.
They were being held by the executive secretary Rhonda Gremillion, he said.
Upon the appointment of his successor, Wentzel will move to the position of consultant to the board to help the transition of the new superintendent, according to the procedures.
Wentzel’s last day in the office will be May 31. He will use accumulated leave until his official retirement on June 15.
Wentzel announced his decision to step down as head of the school system at the Feb. 21 board meeting, with one year left on his four-year contract.
The board and school system have already taken the first steps to finding his replacement.
An ad seeking applications ran twice in the legal journal, The Livingston Parish News, and once in The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.
Online ads were run with the Louisiana School Board Association, Louisiana Department of Education, and Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.
According to the adopted procedures, applicants must submit two résumés by certified mail, one to Mincey, care of the board’s legal advisor, Boyer, Hebert, Abel & Angelle, and one to Human Resources Supervisor Steve Vampran.
Vampran will review all applicants’ qualifications and submitted materials.
If any applicant is disqualified based on qualifications or submitted material, Vampran will notify the applicant, according to the procedures.
Board members will receive copies of the résumés at the April 4 board meeting when the names of all applicants will be announced.
The School Board, meeting as a committee as a whole, will interview applicants on April 15.
An effort will be made to interview all applicants that day, but based on the number of applicants, interviews may be held on April 16-17.
The procedure agreed upon allows Mincey, as board president, to determine what order applicants will be interviewed.
Mincey said during the meeting that applicants will be interviewed in reverse order of when their applications were received.
This means the first person to apply will be the last one interviewed, while the second-to-last interview spot goes to the second applicant to submit a résumé.
Each interview will last one hour; additional time may be allowed if the board president rules there is a good cause for it.
The interviews will be conducted in the same manner as regular board meetings are held.
Applicants who have not been interviewed will be sequestered.
Mincey will ask each applicant questions from a set list.
Board members will be able to ask questions on a rotating basis, starting with the board member from District 1 and continuing until District 9.
After the board members have questioned the applicants, the public will be able to question the candidates.
The committee may go into executive session to discuss or ask questions of applicants concerning issues of mental or physical health and other personal matters.
Finally, the committee will discuss the applicants and consider a recommendation to the full board.
The committee report will go to the full board on April 18, when a vote will be taken in open session. A majority vote will be required to select a superintendent.
The candidate chosen will be notified in writing of his or her selection and will be allowed five days to accept or decline.
If the candidate declines, the board will choose another candidate.