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6 candidates vying for Iberia superintendent job, including Pat Cooper

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NEW IBERIA -

Interviews begin tonight to replace Iberia Parish Superintendent Dale Henderson, who will retire this summer.

Six candidates will go through the interview process, including former Lafayette Parish Superintendent Pat Cooper. Three are set for tonight and another three for tomorrow night.

The Iberia Parish School Board will select the new superintendent at its March 7 board meeting.

Here are the candidates:

  • Allen Blanchard Jr. Blanchard is the current director of human resources, operations and transportation for St. Martin Parish schools, according to his resume. Besides a months-long stint as an assistant principal in Lafayette Parish, he's worked in St. Martin Parish throughout his 26-year career.
  • Patrick Cooper, Ph.D. Cooper has worked in education since 1972 and served a contentious term as Lafayette Parish schools superintendent until his termination until November 2014. Louisiana's Supreme Court recently ruled the termination wrongful. Among myriad other roles throughout his career, he served for a decade as schools superintendent in McComb, Mississippi, and for four years as superintendent in West Feliciana Parish, according to his resume. 
  • James E. Gray, Ph.D. Gray has worked as director of school leadership for Vermilion Parish schools since 2012. Before that, he worked in Iberia Parish schools since 1995, where he coached and taught for five years before serving as principal of Anderson Middle and then Westgate High.
  • C. Michael Judice. Judice is the assistant superintendent of administration for Iberia Parish schools, a position he's held since 2007. He's been with the school system since 1985, where he worked as a teacher and coach, as Anderson Middle's assistant principal and as Loreauville High's principal.
  • Curt J. Landry. Landry is the New Iberia Senior High principal, a position he's held since 2006 after working as assistant principal for the five years before that. Before working as a school administrator, he had taught math in Iberia and St. Martin Parishes since 1987.
  • Carey L. Laviolette. Laviolette has worked in Iberia Parish schools since 1979 and is the district's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She's worked as a science teacher, guidance counselor, drug-prevention coordinator and assistant principal.
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