Dec 15, 2011 12:20 AM by Jim Hummel
In a special meeting Wednesday night, the Lafayette Parish School Board selected Dr. Pat Cooper as the top candidate for the superintendent job.
"I think it was his energy, his energy and his ability to get a lot of people to the table," said board president Mark Babineaux.
The vote split the 9-member board; Cooper received five votes, Dr. Katie Landry received three and Dr. Walter Gonsoulin received one vote.
Despite the vote not being unanimous, Babineaux expects the board to be unified in support of Cooper, should he accept the job.
"We may not agree on the way things are done, but we have to support the people who are doing it, that's the most important thing, to get behind the superintendent," he said.
Cooper currently serves as CEO and President of The Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation in New Orleans. He has more than 40 years experience in education, in both administration and teaching.
Cooper could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Babineaux did speak with him over the phone. When asked if he accepted the job, Babineaux replied "He didn't say no," adding that Cooper was enthusiastic about being selected.
Over the next few days, board members will fine-tune the details of a contract with Cooper, which is expected to be presented for the full board for approval, in a special meeting on Monday.