School Board selects superintendent search firm, Process to cost $25K

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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RESERVE — The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board voted last week to select JG Consulting as the firm for the national superintendent search.

  JG Consulting was the only firm to submit a proposal. The total cost is $25,000, which includes an initial payment of $12,500 upon execution of the contract and a final payment of $12,500 due upon the hiring of a superintendent.

  The search is expected to begin this spring, after JG Consulting wraps up its current superintendent search project in California. The firm will work closely with the St. John School Board to devise a list of qualifications to drive the search.

School Board member Keith Jones was adamant that he would not support the selection of a firm because of the money the School Board has already spent.

  “Looking back at 2012, this board spent $39,000 on a superintendent search,” Jones said. “This year, in the process that my colleagues eliminated, we spent $17,000, and the process was scrapped with two candidates left. Now you’re saying we want to spend another $25,000?”

Jones added that the firm, led by James Guerra of Austin, Texas, should have sent a representative to the Thursday night School Board meeting.

  “It shows me right there the lackluster obligation that he has to work for St. John Parish,” Jones said.

School Board President Patrick Sanders noted the firm was given only a two-day notice to attend the meeting. The proposal was opened Tuesday during the School Board executive committee meeting, and the entire JG Consulting firm is currently working in the Bay area of San Francisco.

  School Board attorney Iman Montgomery said the firm gave dates that representatives will be available to meet within the next two weeks.

Board member Ali Burl suggested tabling the matter until a representative could come in for a face-to-face meeting, but the motion failed.

Board member Nia Mitchell was concerned about the amount of time it would take for the search to start since the firm is tied up with other projects.

Board member Debbie Schum said further delaying the process wouldn’t help the children of St. John Parish.

  “They only work on one search at a time. That’s their policy. When they give you the promise that they are going to do our search, they do our search and ours alone,” she said.

She pointed out that there are only three or four superintendent firms in the U.S., and the School Board can’t afford to pass up the opportunity.

  The motion to select JG Consulting as the superintendent search firm carried 7-4. Burl, Jones, Mitchell and Clarence Triche voted in opposition.