5 candidates seek to lead Louisiana school district

March 20, 2022 GMT

HOUMA, La. (AP) — Five candidates are in the running to become the next leader of a south Louisiana school district.

The Terrebonne Parish School Board will decide Tuesday which candidate will replace Philip Martin as superintendent. Martin plans to retire when his contract expires June 30 after 14 years as the system’s top administrator, The Courier reported.

The candidates are:

— Cory Butler, Terrebonne school system’s supervisor of child welfare and attendance. He also served as interim superintendent of St. John the Baptist Parish Schools from December 2019 to July 2020.

— Bubba Orgeron, the Terrebonne school district’s assistant superintendent since 2015. From 2012 to November 2015, he worked as a schools director in Lafourche, where he supervised eight middle schools and three high schools.

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— C. Michael Robinson Jr., chief academic officer of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. He was superintendent of the Pine Bluff School District in Arkansas from 2016 until 2018 and has worked as an educational consultant and speaker.

— Mark Torbert, the Terrebonne school system’s supervisor of secondary education since 2018. He also has served as principal at Evergreen Junior High and South Terrebonne High schools.

— Clyde Washington, assistant superintendent of the Rapides Parish school system since 2013. He also served as principal of Oaklawn Junior High in Houma and Andrew Price School in Schriever.

Two other candidates, J.T. Stroder and Paul Nelson, have withdrawn their applications, officials said.

The School Board will conduct public interviews with each candidate beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday at its office in Houma. The meeting will also be streamed live on the school system’s Facebook page.

Each candidate is hoping to lead Louisiana’s 13th largest school district. Terrebonne enrolls about 17,000 students and employs 1,700 teachers and staff with an annual budget of nearly $200 million.