By James Minton
October 16, 2012
ZACHARY — One of three finalists for superintendent of the Zachary Community School District withdrew her name from consideration on Monday, a school system spokeswoman said.
Michelle Clayton, who had been the district’s curriculum and academic accountability director until earlier this year, gave the School Board written notice of her decision, spokeswoman Adonica Duggan said.
The board voted Thursday to call three candidates — all with ties to the district — back for a second round of interviews on Oct. 16. The board began searching in August for a successor to Superintendent Warren Drake, who took a job with the Louisiana Department of Education.
Director of Operations Scott Devillier received votes from all nine members, Port Hudson Career Academy Principal Patrick Jenkins received six votes and Clayton got four votes.
The voting eliminated the St. James Parish superintendent, Alonzo Luce, and the Clinton, Miss., superintendent, Phil Burchfield, from contention.
“I would like to sincerely thank you for selecting me as a finalist for the position of superintendent of the Zachary Community School District. After thoughtful consideration and extensive prayer, I have decided to remove my name from consideration for the superintendent’s position,” Clayton said in her statement to the board.
Clayton said that as a parent and a member of the Zachary community, she looks forward to continuing her support of the school district.
“I have worked closely with both of the remaining finalists for the past nine years, and I can attest to their outstanding leadership capabilities and incredible compassion for children,” she said.
The School Board is scheduled to interview Devillier and Jenkins at the School Board office on Oct. 16, beginning at 1 p.m. The interviews are open to the public.
The public also is invited to meet the candidates at 5 p.m. at the Academic Athletic Center on the Zachary High School campus. The board is scheduled to choose the superintendent on Oct. 25.