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West Baton Rouge School Board Narrows Down Superintendent Search to Final Two Candidates

The West Baton Rouge School Board has taken another step closer to finding its next superintendent, selecting two of the five original candidates for a second round of interviews.

Troy Bell, the executive director of federal programs and academics in Franklin Parish, and Chandler Smith, the assistant superintendent for the Central Community School System, will both face the board on February 28. To make the process more transparent, attorney Bob Hammonds suggested opening a portal on the school board website for the public to submit questions.

To determine the order of the interviews, the board used a coin flip, with Smith going first at 5 p.m. and Bell following at 6 p.m. Each candidate will have an hour-long interview, split into a public portion and a private portion with the board in executive session.

Though a final decision is not expected to be announced on February 28, the board will determine the next steps soon after the interviews are completed. Both Dr. Tammy Seneca and Charlotte Blanchard, as well as Patrick Jenkins, who withdrew his name from consideration on Friday, have not been eliminated from the selection process.

Hammonds had reviewed the candidates' personnel files and discussed his findings with the board during an executive session on Tuesday. The board will continue to weigh "character and professional competence" as they make their decision.

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