Last week, the ZCSB voted for three of the five superintendent candidates - Clayton, Scott Devillier and Patrick Jenkins - to move forward into the second phase of the interview process.
In a written statement to the board, Clayton said: “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.”
In the search to replace former Superintendent Warren Drake, whose last day as head of the Zachary School System was Sept. 4, board members had named Clayton, Devillier and Jenkins as the three finalists they'd like to see return for follow-up interviews.
Initially, 11 applicants submitted their resumes for Drake’s position, which he held for the past 10 years. Drake took a position working for State Superintendent John White at the La. Dept. of Education.
Rounding out the five candidates who were interviewed over a two-day process Sept. 25-26, were Alonzo Luce, St. James Parish Superintendent, and Philip Burchfield, Superintendent of Clinton, Miss. School System.
Clayton said that as a parent and a member of the Zachary community, she looks forward to continuing to support 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,” Clayton stated.
Prior to voting at the Oct. 4 meeting, board member Scott Swilley commented on the candidates. “All five candidates could lead this district,” said Swilley. “All five could lead this district forward, and we appreciate all of them going through this interview process with us.”
Board members votes were projected onto a screen for those attending the meeting to view. Results showed that all nine board members asked Devillier, currently Director of Operations for the ZCSD, back for a second interview.
Board members Jannie Rogers, Boyce Smith, David Dayton, Hubie Owen, Gaynell Young and Kenneth Mackie all voted for Jenkins to return.
Jenkins is Principal at Zachary's Port Hudson Career Academy.
Clayton, once the Director of Academic Accountability & Curriculum for the ZCSD, was asked back by Rogers, Smith, Young and Mackie.
Luce received votes from Donnie Dykes, Dayton and Swilley, while Burchfield received votes from Rogers and Samuel only.
Devillier and Jenkins will return for their final interviews on Tuesday, Oct. 16, beginning at 1 p.m.
The same evening, the Zachary community is invited to meet and greet the two candidates at the ZHS Academic/Athletic building from 5-7 p.m.
Zachary’s next superintendent will be chosen Thursday, Oct. 25, at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting.