The Vermilion Parish School Board will allow the three candidates for superintendent to interview for the position, the board decided on Thursday.
The three men who applied for the job all work in the Vermilion Parish School System - Interim Superintendent Brad Prudhomme, assistant superintendent Paul Hebert, and North Vermilion High School principal Tommy Byler are seeking the position.
Tonight's vote came as a surprise to some. The people we spoke to said they're surprised the board voted to hold the interviews in a public session. One board member says despite the vote, he's disappointed in some of his colleagues.
"The whole parish knows there are three overqualified candidates," said North Vermilion High School graduate Caleb Reese, who attended the meeting hoping to have his voice heard. "There are talks of them appointing a superintendent without interviewing them. We came and saw the complete opposite happen."
Board member Chris Gautreaux, District B, told fellow members, "Every candidate that applied needs their opportunity to interview. You may find a diamond in the rough."
Gautreaux was one of several members pushing for an interview session open to the public. Others did not agree, with some calling for a motion to hold the vote in an executive session and some questioning what the board had to hide.
"We don't know that they will take all that, what they have heard, and actually come out with the best choice for the parish," said Reese. "Some of us think they will rush through it and vote for who they think they would have voted for."
The board ultimately agreed to allow each candidate 40 minutes to speak and answer questions. Still, Gautreaux is frustrated with how board president Kibbie Pillette handled the situation.
"The president has already tainted this process by wanting to hurry up and vote," he said. "I'm going to pray everyone has an open mind, give everybody a chance. These three guys have dedicated their life to Vermilion Parish. They deserve that."
After the meeting, KATC's Katie Easter approached Pillette to get reaction to Gautreaux's comments. Pillette declined to respond.
School board members will interview the three candidates Monday night, with a final vote on the candidates expected to come on Tuesday.
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