Both candidates are current employees of the Zachary school system. Devillier is the Director of Operations over the district, while Jenkins is the principal of Port Hudson Career Academy.
The two candidates plus a third, Michelle Clayton, were invited back Oct. 4 for a second round of interviews by the school board.
The position of superintendent was left vacant by Warren Drake, who is now working for State Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.
Drake held the position of ZCSD Superintendent from 2002 until his last day on Sept. 4, 2012.
Initially, 11 applicants submitted their resumes for Drake’s position but those were narrowed to five candidates that included Clayton, Devillier and Jenkins. Rounding out the five were Alonzo Luce, St. James Parish Superintendent, and Philip Burchfield, Superintendent of Clinton, Miss., schools.
Clayton, formerly with the Zachary school system as the Director of Academic Accountability and Curriculum, withdrew her name for consideration on Oct. 8.
Last week, the final portion of the interview process included powerpoint presentations by both candidates, which delved into steps for bringing the district to a new model of excellence, implementing the new Common Core standards, ensuring students are college ready, promoting the property tax renewal and their visions on technology in the classroom.
Both candidates were also asked to list reasons why they were the best choice for the district's leadership position, as well as outline their first 60 days in the new role.
The final interview phase also consisted of questions asked of both candidates, such as their opinion on student athletes maintaining a 2.0 GPA and how they would go about obtaining more scholarships for students.
Devillier and Jenkins were also asked individual follow-up questions based in their previous interview responses.
Devillier, a former assistant principal and principal of Zachary High School with a bachelor's degree from LSU and master's in education administration from Southern University, said he is the best choice because he understands what it takes to lead the district.
"I have been and am committed to Zachary, and I've built relationships with stakeholders over the last nine years. My experience level plus living and knowing the vision of this board, this team and this community and where we should go, are reasons why I'm the best candidate for this job," Devillier told board members. "I'm a good instructional leader and manager who makes good decisions, listens well and can make the tough decisions while being flexible."
Jenkins, a former assistant principal of Northwestern Middle and principal over Northwestern and Zachary Elementary schools, has over 20 years experience in education. His bachelor's and master's degrees were obtained from Southern University, and he has served in the Army National Guard with time in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"I have leadership experience with blue ribbon schools as well as inner city schools, and I'm the only candidate who has worked with students across all levels of the academic spectrum from Pre-K thru 12th grades. I'm dedicated, loyal and consistent. I'm not looking for a job, but an opportunity to motivate and lead the Zachary school district and Zachary citizens to a model of excellence," Jenkins said of why he is the best choice.
Following the final interviews, the school board held a meet and greet reception for Devillier, Jenkins and the community.
"I don't envy the board members, they've got a tough decision to make," said Mayor David Amrhein, who sat in on the entire interview process. "The board did this the right way, they made it (the process) open to all."
Board members will make their decision at their next meeting when they take a final vote on Thursday, Oct. 25. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.