Three apply to lead Livingston Parish Schools


LIVINGSTON — After six years, Livingston Parish Schools will see a change in leadership this summer as outgoing superintendent Joe Murphy approaches retirement in June. Three candidates have applied to lead the school district’s 4,000 employees and 26,000 students.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, UWK obtained the applications for the three candidates vying for the district’s top position. Among them are two individuals who have previously applied for the role, along with a former finalist to lead West Baton Rouge Parish Schools. The candidates are scheduled to interview before the Livingston Parish School Board on April 15, with the board expected to announce their selection shortly after.

The candidates are presented in alphabetical order.

Troy Bell

Troy Bell, candidate for LPPS superintendent

Troy Bell brings nearly 20 years of educational experience to the table, including seven years in administrative roles. He has served with the Franklin Parish School Board since 2020 and currently holds the position of director of federal programs.

Prior to this, he served as the supervisor of child welfare and attendance programs. Before joining Franklin Parish schools, Bell served as principal at Caldwell Parish Junior High in Columbia, La., from 2017 to 2020, and held teaching and coaching positions in Caldwell and Ouachita Parish.

“In order to develop plans for improvement, I work collaboratively with all stakeholders, gather feedback, and evaluate the implementation of the plans, making critical decisions that affect everyone involved,” Bell said in his application. “As Superintendent of the Livingston Parish School Board, I will bring the same professionalism, dedication, and knowledge to work collaboratively with the board, administration, and all stakeholders in the district.”

He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Educational Ministry in Pastoral Leadership at Andersonville Theological Seminary, having obtained his Master of Education in educational leadership from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he also completed his bachelor’s degree.

Bruce Chaffin

Bruce Chaffin, currently the assistant superintendent of Livingston Parish schools, is vying for the top position once again after being passed over for outgoing superintendent Joe Murphy. With nearly 40 years of service within the district, Chaffin has held various roles, including teacher, coach, and assistant principal.

He served as principal at Frost School from 1999 to 2002 and at Albany High from 2002 to 2008, before being appointed as the district’s supervisor of instruction and personnel. Chaffin currently oversees all aspects of the school district’s daily operations and serves as the Livingston parish director of athletics.

“Drawing from my extensive experiences, I embark on this journey with optimism,” Chaffin wrote in his application. “The district holds unprecedented potential for growth, and to realize it, we must unite, collaborate, and communicate effectively. By working together and fostering open communication, our district’s growth will occur naturally.”

He holds a degree from Louisiana Tech and obtained his Master of Education from Southeastern.

Jody Purvis

Similarly, Livingston Parish Schools Assistant Superintendent Jody Purvis is once again in contention for the district’s top role, having been passed over for Murphy’s position. Purvis has been with LPPS since 1998, beginning as a teacher at Springfield High and Denham Springs Freshman High before advancing to roles such as assistant principal at Southside Junior High and Springfield Middle.

He later served as principal at Springfield High and French Settlement Elementary before being appointed as the supervisor of high school instruction for the district in 2012. Currently, Purvis is involved in the administration and coordination of educational programs, as well as overseeing board meetings and daily logistics.

“My willingness to build strong relationships and proven ability to work as a team will help establish a clear vision,” Purvis said in his application. “My passion to grow and expand educational opportunities for the students of Livingston Parish has been the driving force in my career. With each new position, I have worked to prepare myself for the position of Superintendent of Livingston Parish Public Schools.”

He is a graduate of LSU and holds a Master of Education from Southern University.

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