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VPSB unanimously selects Tommy Byler as next superintendent

Posted at 11:46 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 00:46:06-04

The newly elected Vermilion Parish School Superintendent Tommy Byler is setting the tone for his administration.

"I may not know what I'm getting into, but you know what, nobody does. I'm going to be me. I'm going to lead the way I lead and I'll have a program of shared leadership," Byler said. "We're going to throw that on the wall and see what sticks and go to work."

The board unanimously picked North Vermilion High School Principal Tommy Byler for the job.

He was one of three candidates.

Interim Superintendent Brad Prudhomme and Assistant Superintendent Paul Hebert were also interviewed for the job. The seat has been vacant since Jerome Puyau stepped down in January.

Byler will begin his new role Wednesday. Until his contract is ironed out, Byler will serve as interim superintendent.

He says tonight's decision is the first true step in unifying the district.

"We don't have time to sit and wait, we have a COVID pandemic and school starts August 27," Byler said. "The people here have a plan. As a principal, I've been part of that plan. Now, it's time to start breaking that plan down and say ok, do we have everything ready for our kids?"

Byler says moving forward, it will be important to energize students and employees. He says it's time for the superintendent and board to work together.

"There has to be eight people in here and myself, 1300 employees that put kids first and put Vermilion Parish back on the map," Byler said.

Board President Kibbie Pillette says Byler is the right man at the right time for the district.

"We have to have a real leader and it's time for someone to take the reign that can bring the entire parish together," Pillette said.

Byler said, "I think this shows a true step towards Vermilion United and it's my job to make sure we can work in that direction."

Byler says he plans to address his faculty and staff at North Vermilion High on Wednesday and send a letter to the school system.

As for Prudhomme, he will return to his former role of supervisor of child welfare and attendance.

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