Livingston: Search officially underway for new school superintendent

LIVINGSTON — The official search for the next Livingston Parish Schools superintendent is now underway.

The Livingston Parish School Board voted during Thursday’s meeting to commence the formal search to replace the outgoing superintendent, Joe Murphy. In August, Murphy announced his retirement plans after dedicating 32 years to the district, with the last five as superintendent. His contract is set to expire in June.

MORE: Livingston Parish Superintendent to retire at end of school year

Joe Murphy

“I would hope that this board and this parish would continue what we started in this parish, what we’ve always been in this parish, which is we put our children first,” Murphy said during the board meeting.

So, how will the process unfold? The board will kick off the job advertising in March, accepting applications until the end of March, and initiate interviews in April. The aim is to have a new superintendent in place by the end of April or May, preceding Murphy’s retirement.

After the application deadline, the board will conduct public interviews with the finalists. Historically, the board has allocated about an hour per candidate. Finalists will have the opportunity for an opening and closing statement and will respond to a set of questions formulated by the board.

The decision on the chosen candidate will be deliberated in an executive session.

Currently, it remains uncertain who will apply, but sources tell UWK that Jody Purvis and Bruce Chaffin, the assistant superintendents of schools, two former finalists for the position, are expected to submit applications this time. Purvis and Chaffin are both considered frontrunners for the position of the parish’s next superintendent.

Many teachers and school leaders have expressed to UWK that they perceive Murphy stepping down as a crucial moment for the district. They believe that Murphy has lost the confidence of the board, numerous teachers, and the community.

Murphy started with LPPS in 1992. He has served the district as a teacher, principal, and coach and led the district’s instruction department as well as assistant superintendent. He has seen the parish swell to record capacity and currently leads more than 4,000 employees and 26,000 students.

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