ZACHARY — The Zachary Community School Board voted Thursday to call three of five candidates for district superintendent back for a second round of interviews Oct. 16.
The board decided to continue interviewing Scott Devillier, Patrick Jenkins and Michelle Clayton.
Devillier and Jenkins are employed in the district, and Clayton was the district’s accountability and curriculum director until earlier this year.
The board received 11 applications for the post vacated by Superintendent Warren Drake, who served for 10 years and took a position Sept. 4 as a regional network leader for state Education Superintendent John White.
Board members later decided to interview Devillier, Jenkins and Clayton, along with St. James Parish Superintendent Alonzo Luce and Clinton, Miss., Superintendent Phil Burchfield, in public sessions Sept. 25-26.
All nine board members voted Thursday to call Devillier, the district’s operations director, back for the Oct. 16 session.
Members Kenneth Mackie, Gaynell Young, Hubie Owen, David Dayton, Jannie Rogers and Boyce Smith supported Jenkins, who is principal of Zachary’s Port Hudson Career Academy. Scott Swilley, Sharon Samuel and Donnie Dykes did not support calling Jenkins back for the second round.
Clayton received four votes from Smith, Rogers, Young and Mackie.
Luce, superintendent of the St. James system since 2007, got three votes from Dykes, Swilley and Dayton, but the board finally voted to call the three who got the most votes.
Rogers and Samuel also voted to interview Burchfield, who heads a top-rated school district in a Jackson, Miss., suburb.
“In my opinion, all five candidates could lead this district. We have a tough decision to pick the best candidate to lead this district forward,” Swilley said before the voting began.
The Oct. 16 interviews will begin at 1 p.m. at the School Board office, and the public also will be invited to a meet-and-greet session with the finalists from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Athletic Academics Center on the Zachary High School campus, Young said.
She said the board plans to choose one of the three finalists Oct. 25.