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Lycée committee meets behind closed doors to interview CEO candidates

The search committee charged with finding a new chief executive officer for the embattled Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school interviewed two candidates behind closed doors Wednesday.

The committee entered into an almost two-hour executive session to interview Mireille Rabate and Benjamin Orillon by phone and using Google Hangout.

Rabate is assistant head and middle school principal at French American International School in San Francisco. Orillon is the chief administrative officer at the Lycée in San Francisco.

State law allows the board to hold its interviews in closed session but does not require it.

Despite the committee’s original plan to continue the interviews on Thursday, the members said scheduling conflicts had forced them to postpone likely until next week. The search committee is operating under a tight timeline and hopes to recommend CEO candidates to Lycee’s full board at its May 13 meeting.

On Wednesday night, committee members Carol Asher and Kelly McClure met at the school’s Patton Street campus, while member Nicole Boudreaux joined by video-conference from Lafayette.

Asher and McClure worked alone in small classroom, as custodians cleaned the hallways and a few teachers lingered in other classrooms preparing for the next day. No parents or current board members were present for the meeting.

Rabate and Orillon were among five candidates the board picked to interview out of a pool of 30 applicants last week.

In only its second year, the 340-student Lycee school has endured the departure of two CEOs, and is currently overseen by an interim chief.

McClure said the committee will likely meet on Monday, and will notify the public when a date has been set.

Attorney Lee Reid, who represents Lycee, helped the committee begin its meeting. Reid then left when they entered executive session. In addition to a reporter for The Lens, a representative from Hunnewell’s office was present. Alison Schmitt, an associate consultant with Hunnewell’s company, assisted the committee with technical issues, at one point entering the executive session for about 15 minutes.

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