School board completes first round of superintendent interviews

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Bossier Schools Interim Superintendent Mitch Downey being interviewed by the board Monday, April 1. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

The first three interviews for the position of Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent position were completed Monday evening.

Interim Superintendent Mitch Downey, Victor Mainiero, and Dr. Vicki Younger were the first three out of the six candidates interviewed by the Bossier Parish School Board.

Each candidate began with a five-minute introduction, followed by School Board members asking the same questions to all three interviewees. 

School Board member J.W. Slack, representing District 7, asked a two part question: During your time as a school administrator, what was your proudest achievement? And, what was your greatest failure?

“I think my greatest achievement was the fact that being in a high performing, high poverty school, we continued to make progress,” Dr. Younger said. “My greatest failure is sometimes when you speak truth to people, you have to be careful how you do it. And I think earlier in my career, maybe sometimes I wasn’t as smooth with that like I am now. The truth sometimes hurts and you don’t ever want to hurt someones feelings, so I feel like maybe thats a place where i’ve really grown as an administrator.”

Mike Mosura, representing District 2, asked: In your first 100 days as superintendent, what would be your goals be? 

“The first thing I would do is let our teachers know that we are going to support them and we are going to do everything we can to provide them with the highest quality resources,” Downey said. “I think there are things we can do to empower them, to give them ownership, and for them to know their value.”

School Board member Kenneth Wiggins, representing District 8, asked, “What would you do to increase the number of minorities employed in Bossier Parish Schools?”

“I see two ways: The first part would be ‘How do we treat our employees? Do we show that appreciation?’” Mainiero said. “Secondly, ‘Are there ways to create incentives to go ahead and look at bringing in minority teachers and staff?’” 

The remaining three candidate interviews will be held Tuesday, April 2. The remaining three candidates to be interviewed are Brian Binggeli, Elizabeth Duran Swinford and Clarence Robinson.

Concluding Tuesday’s interviews, Board members will vote on their top two finalists who will be invited to return Monday, April 8. 

The final interviews will be conducted in executive session where the board will then convene for a public vote on Bossier Schools’ new Superintendent.