New state superintendent of education to be chosen this week

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BATON ROUGE, La. — The president of Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education said the board plans to pick a new state superintendent of education this week.

On Thursday the full board will meet to select a successor to former state Superintendent of Education John White.

There are six finalists: Assistant State Superintendent of Education Jessica Baghian; Cade Brumley, superintendent of the Jefferson Parish school system; Heather Poole, executive vice-chancellor of Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Alexandria; Paul Vallas, former superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District; Joe Siedlecki, associate commissioner for school system support, innovation and charters, Texas Education Agency and Lonnie Luce, executive director, Blended & Online School Solutions.

All six candidates underwent online “virtual’ interviews of roughly 100 minutes each.

They were asked 16 questions by two BESE members: Kira Orange Jones, of New Orleans, who is leading a four-person working group of the board and Ronnie Morris, of Baton Rouge.

Those sessions are available at


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