International School of Louisiana CEO Sean Wilson has been named the next leader of International High School of New Orleans, ending a nearly yearlong search.
The two charter schools are unrelated.
Wilson was selected over two other finalists, during a special meeting last week of the high school’s governing board, Voices for International Business and Education. The three finalists visited the campus and interviewed earlier this month.
Board officials said Wilson will be paid a base salary of $160,000.
Wilson will begin his new role at the end of the current school year, ending his eight-year tenure at nearby International School of Louisiana, one of the oldest charter schools in the city.
In an interview with The Lens earlier this month, Wilson said he believes the programs he implemented at his current school are in a good place, and that he is ready for a new challenge.
He said he wants to make International High School the place to be for students now in a language-immersion program, or students who “want to have the experience of a language-rich environment.”
The search, which was conducted in its early stages by a Boston-based consultant, included as many as 90 candidates. The school received applications from Europe and across the country, said Board President Robert Couhig III.
The other two finalists were Elizabeth Larose, assistant head of school at the Chinese American International School in San Francisco; and Carlos Lopez, consultant to the Lehigh Valley Education Center in Pennsylvania.
The finalists each visited the school for a full day in early April to meet students, faculty, staff, board members and others.
Couhig said he didn’t think the school “would’ve gone wrong with any of them,” but Wilson’s experience with language-immersion programs, the International Baccalaureate curriculum and area roots helped him stand out from the field.
“And then there’s something to knowing the local layout, if you will,” Couhig said.
Asked whether it was interesting that an international search resulted in the hiring of a local candidate, Couhig said, “Our goal was to find the person that was best for the school, and it just so happens he was.”
Wilson’s contract was finalized by the board during a special meeting called Thursday.
The search was triggered when the school’s board opted to offer former head of school Anthony Amato a one-year contract extension in May 2013. Amato died in December, and then-Assistant Head of School Nan Ryan was promoted to Interim Head of School at that time. The Board opted to continue to the search process then.
The Board’s next meeting is May 21 at 6 p.m.