The Jefferson Parish (La.) school board has selected longtime district employee Isaac Joseph as the district's next superintendent. The vote came today during a special board meeting. Joseph will succeed James Meza, Jr., who retired in January.
Six candidates were in the running to lead the 48,000-student district, which emerged as the largest school system in Louisiana in the last decade after flooding from Hurricane Katrina and the state's takeover of numerous schools in New Orleans resulted in a much smaller Orleans Parish school district.
Joseph has worked in the Jefferson Parish school system for 29 years, the district says. He has been executive director of grants and federal programs since 2012. Other positions: assistant superintendent of human resources (January 2009–July 2012); assistant superintendent of federal programs (July 2003-January 2009); director of Title I programs (July 1998 – June 2003) principal (July 1993-June 1998); dean of student services (February 1990-July 1993); and teacher (August 1986 – January 1990).
The school board voted 6 to 3 to appoint Joseph, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. Those who didn't back Joseph supported acting superintendent Michelle Blouin-Williams. She has been with the district for 25 years and trained under Meza.
Joseph says in a district news release that he plans to improve the academic focus and support given to schools, provide increased fiscal transparency, enhance school facilities, and do more to engage parents and the community.
Video: Watch Joseph make his case for becoming superintendent of Jefferson Parish Public Schools.