East Baton Rouge School Board, community divided over principal candidates

East Baton Rouge School Board, community divided over principal candidates

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) β€” Disagreements continue between the East Baton Rouge School Board and the community over the appointment of a new principal.

Two finalists, Kevin George and Andrea Zayas, interviewed for the principal position this week, but there is no guarantee that either finalist will be selected.

The board voted five to four on the final three principal candidates on June 28. The move led to the removal of interim principal Adam Smith, which caused outrage in the community.

Three unions are calling for Smith to be given sick leave if the board does not choose him, while petitions with thousands of signatures are calling for his appointment.

Several scenarios could play out as the board selects a new superintendent on Thursday night.

They could force a vote to appoint Smith, in which case five votes would be needed. If that doesn’t work, a board member could abstain from voting on the two finalists, which would cause the entire search process to start over.

β€œAre you considering not voting?” asked BRProud investigative reporter John Rupolo.

“I’m not saying I won’t vote. I’m going to listen to my community, and what my community is saying right now is they want someone from the district, from the area, that they trust,” said EBR School Board member Dadrius Lanus.

East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers President Angela Reams-Brown said she is working to have Smith appointed as principal.

“We hope our board members will search their souls. We hope they will look at the statistics, we hope they will look at what Mr. Smith has done on both occasions when he was appointed on an interim basis,” Reams-Brown said.

Smith was passed over for the principal position after serving as interim in the past. He has been with the district for 27 years.

The EBR School Board meeting will begin on Thursday, July 11 at 17:00.

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