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New State Superintendent named in Louisiana

Cade Brumley
Posted at 12:00 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 15:42:20-04

The current superintendent of the Jefferson Parish school system was named state superintendent of education after two rounds of voting by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Board voted 8-3 to appoint Dr. Brumley from three candidates nominated during deliberations at today’s meeting. BESE appoints the position by a two-thirds vote of its total membership.

Dr. Cade Brumley has served students as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, district leader, and superintendent.

According to his biography on the Jefferson Parish School District's website, he was appointed unanimously there in March of 2018. He also served six years as DeSoto Parish Schools Superintendent in Northwest Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, a Masters of Education in School Administration from Louisiana State University - Shreveport, and a Doctorate of Education in School Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

“As a Louisiana native, I am extremely honored to be selected by a student-friendly BESE,” said Dr. Brumley. “Louisiana may not be the largest state in the union but we have a big table for collaboration. I look forward to bringing people together to collectively move our state forward. We are primed for continued improvement, drawing on successes of the past and the promise for our future. I will fight for our children, families, and communities each day - they deserve our best.”

BESE says that the Superintendent Selection Work Group developed and directed the administrative process for selecting a superintendent, approved by the Board at its January 2020 meeting. Serving with Orange Jones on the Superintendent Selection Work Group were BESE members Jim Garvey, Ronnie Morris, and Doris Voitier. BESE retained the consulting firm Promise54 to assist the work group in managing the process.

In March, the Board approved narrowing the search to six contenders from the 21 original candidates produced through the application process. Videoconference interviews, conducted by work group members with the contending candidates, were posted online for public review in April, along with a related public input survey that generated 7,800 responses statewide.

Sandy Holloway, BESE president noted the importance of conducting an open and efficient process that afforded the opportunity for public engagement despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions:

“There were obstacles to overcome in carrying out an expedient and transparent superintendent search in the midst of a public health emergency that could have severely impacted communication, logistics, and engagement. Despite these challenges, candidates, BESE members and the public cooperated and connected to move the process forward with a goal of ensuring continuity and stability for our students and educators.”

The new State Superintendent will take charge of a K-12 education system that has achieved many recent successes and improvements including raising academic standards, increasing access to quality early childhood education, expanding career education opportunities, and strengthening educator development, but will also face significant challenges. Closing persistent achievement and opportunity gaps across the state is a top priority for BESE, along with addressing the unfinished learning from the 2019-20 school year and ensuring that students and school systems are positioned for a strong start in 2020-21.

Other candidates nominated by the Board at the meeting were Jessica Baghian, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Policy Officer with the Louisiana Department of Education, and Dr. Lonnie Luce, Executive Director of Blended and Online School Solutions and Superintendent of Charter Schools USA, Louisiana.

BESE’s next step will be to negotiate and finalize a contract with Dr. Brumley.

The Board will then request approval of the contract by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget and request confirmation of the appointment by the Louisiana Senate. Additional information on Dr. Brumley, BESE’s selection process, and the role of the State Superintendent is available online at https://bese.louisiana.gov.

On Wednesday, Governor. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s selection of Dr. Cade Brumley as the new superintendent of Louisiana’s K-12 schools.

“The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education made an important decision today with the selection of the new state superintendent of education,” said Gov. Edwards. “First, I want to congratulate him. With Dr. Brumley at the helm, the Department of Education will continue efforts to improve student achievement and to provide high quality education for all Louisiana students. Cade has a record of success as a teacher, coach, principal and as a superintendent of two districts, Desoto and Jefferson parishes. What I know and appreciate about Cade is that as a leader he has a record of being inclusive. He has a seat at the table for everyone as he seeks and listens to input from all stakeholders. I look forward to working with Dr. Brumley to advance education in Louisiana. While the current public health emergency has certainly made our mission more difficult, education has never been more important.”

"BESE is to be commended for the transparent search it conducted for the new state superintendent. Despite the challenges faced because of COVID-19, the board was able to conduct a search and follow the timeline it had created pre-virus. I commend everyone who applied and especially the other finalists as going through the selection process is never easy.”

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