Last Modified: Monday, June 16, 2014 11:35 AM
Karl Bruchhaus, the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s chief financial officer, was selected Saturday as the district’s new superintendent. Bruchhaus will replace Wayne Savoy who announced his retirement in January.
Bruchhaus has been the district’s CFO since 1996. He has 26 years of experience working in Louisiana school systems’ central offices in various finance positions.
Bruchhaus said he was honored and excited to be selected to lead the district. “I believe our system has potential to deliver great things for our children,” he said. “We are the foundation of the future. We are going to be responsible for a whole generation of children now. We have one shot at it, and we’ve got to make it right.”
Bruchhaus interviewed in front of the board and public Saturday along with three other finalists — Marcus Jackson of Atlanta, Charles Michel of Metairie and Ina Delahoussaye of Lake Charles.
Each interview included 45 minutes in open session and 45 minutes in executive session. Before voting began, several members of the public spoke before the board on behalf of candidates.
Candidates were voted on according to their interview order, with each board member voting “yes” or “no” for each during three rounds of voting.
Board members were allowed to cast one less vote than the number of candidates each round. Votes were tallied for each candidate after each round. The candidate who received the lowest number of “yes” votes was eliminated.
Delahoussaye was eliminated during the first round, receiving only five “yes” votes. Jackson was eliminated in the second round with only four “yes” votes.
During the final round, Michel received five “yes” votes from board members Joe Andrepont, Mack Dellafosse, Clara Duhon, Fred Hardy and Roman Thompson. Bruchhaus yielded 10 “yes” votes from the remaining board members.
Bruchhaus, a certified public accountant, was the only candidate who wasn’t an educator. Bruchhaus said since his background is primarily in business, state law requires that he must hire a chief academic officer to work with him.
Bruchhaus said the board was aware of the requirement, and the current vacancy for the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction will be changed to a chief academic officer position.
Bruchhaus said he believes his transition to superintendent should be smooth since he has been in the CPSB system for 17 years and is well aware of what goes on a daily basis.
“Mr. Savoy has committed as the outgoing superintendent to work with me involving our staff into building our team to try to move our school district forward,” Bruchhaus said. “It will be a team approach. I will make the decisions that are necessary, but I will gather input to make those decisions.”
Annette Ballard, CPSB president, said that selecting the new superintendent was not only a tough decision but also the most important task a school board is charged with.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make, but I truly believe that all of our board members studied the applicants and their qualifications to make the decision as to which person could best serve our students and the district as a whole,” said Ballard.
“We are truly honored to welcome Mr. Bruchhaus into his new role with the district and look forward to the seeing what great things he has in store for the children of Calcasieu Parish.”
The board will hold a special-called meeting at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, to discuss Bruchhaus’ contract and starting date.
Posted By: Andrew Monceaux On: 6/14/2014
Looks like the good ole boy system is still in place. The number one priority from the stakeholders of the parish is someone with an educational background. I guess the other 3 finalist with doctorate degrees is education was not enough for the school board members they needed an accountant with no educational background. All the school board members need to go. Nothing will ever change with them in office. I will be the first to step up and announce my candidacy for school board member. Remember me in election time someone has to stand up for these kids and for all the stakeholders involved.