Interim superintendent named for Baton Rouge schools

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An interim superintendent has been named to lead Baton Rouge schools while officials look for a permanent leader.

After nearly five hours of debate Thursday, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted unanimously to promote top administrator Adam Smith to take over as interim superintendent until the board can find a replacement for Leslie Brown, who last month resigned citing declining health.

Smith is one of two associate superintendents and a 24-year veteran of the school system who has risen through the ranks and is well liked by many. Some pushed the board to install Smith in the job permanently but that effort failed. Smith was a semifinalist in the search that led to Brown’s hiring, The Advocate reported.

Brown took over as superintendent on Aug. 3. Seven weeks later she abruptly went on emergency medical leave for an unspecified illness. Two week later she resigned.

Smith’s promotion into Brown’s job will last just six months. Austin, Texas-based search firm JG Consulting is returning to lead a new superintendent search. The search firm is honoring a clause in its original contract saying it will conduct a second, free search if the person hired left “for any reason” within two years of being hired.

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