Mire makes pitch for WBR schools superintendent job

The first of four finalists for West Baton Rouge Parish schools superintendent made her pitch Wednesday to the School Board.

Frances Annette Mire said her more than 30 years of experience prepared her to be a leader who knows when to step aside and delegate responsibility and who believes listening to the community’s needs will help build a stronger school system.

Mire, 65, is seeking to replace David Corona, who is retiring in July after serving 10 years as superintendent.

The board asked Mire general questions for about 30 minutes before continuing the interview in executive session.

Mire, who serves as the school district’s associate superintendent of human resources and staff development, praised Corona for his community involvement.

“I think it would be important for me, early on, to build trust with the community,” she said. “The district will support the school system as long as the community thinks the superintendent is listening.”

Mire has worked for the school district for the past 10 years. She said she has assisted in staffing decisions and staff development and handled personnel issues for teachers, faculty and staff.

Prior to working in West Baton Rouge, Mire, who holds degrees from LSU, worked for 23 years with the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, where she served as director of human resources, director of certificated personnel, director of elementary personnel and supervisor of Continuous Progress Schools.

Mire told the board she was also asked to serve on a committee that developed the PRAXIS exam for superintendents.

“That experience has really helped me have a real global look at the school district,” she said.

“I got to work with other superintendents around the nation.”

As for staffing, Mire said she plans to attend college job fairs with principals in tow. “Principals need to be involved with who is being hired at their schools. They know what they want.”

She also cited her work in the implementation of Professional Learning Communities at the parish schools and overseeing the implementation of the System for Teacher and Student Advancement at three schools in the district.

“We attribute much of the recent growth in student performance to these initiatives,” she wrote in her application. “I brought these initiatives to West Baton Rouge. … I saw the need for more job-embedded staff development, and was successful in establishing a systemic approach to supporting staff.”

Mire said staying on top of developing trends in education is her strength and classified her inability to say “no” as her weakness.

The School Board is scheduled to interview John Jackson, the administrative liaison for the University of North Georgia, on Monday; Cynthia Ourso, elementary supervisor for the West Baton Rouge school system, on Tuesday; and Zachary High School Principal Wesley Watts on Wednesday.

The board hopes to appoint a new superintendent by July, before Corona vacates office at the end of the month.