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Only one CEO candidate will make Lycée’s in-person interviews Thursday

Search committee members for Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school optimistically planned to interview two school chief finalists on Thursday.

But when their meeting convenes at 8 a.m., only one of the out-of-state CEO candidates will be able to attend.

Mireille Rabate, a school administrator from San Francisco, is expected to be in New Orleans in person to meet with the committee behind closed doors. The interview is scheduled to take place at 1441 Canal St.

But Lysianne Essama, a French immersion principal who lives in Maryland, couldn’t make the meeting. That’s according to Jeremy Hunnewell, a management consultant for the school who has helped to arrange the question and answer sessions.

Essama had her initial interview with Lycée’s CEO selection committee by online video conference on Saturday. But the committee waited until Monday — the deadline for Essama to submit the final portion of her application — before determining they wanted to invite her to interview in person as well.

Lycée’s full board has also scheduled a 2 p.m. meeting to conduct interviews with the candidates at the school and a 7 p.m. town hall style meeting to enable members of the school community and public to meet the candidates. Both meetings are contingent upon the search committee deciding to recommend Rabate and/or Essama to the board for formal consideration.

Told of the news that only one CEO finalist was likely to be present, Lycée parent Darren Beltz said he did not fault the candidate.

But he does hope board members will hold off before awarding the job.

“I would hope that they would not have a board vote until both candidates were presented,” he said.

School leaders had originally hoped to make a decision on who will be the next CEO before May, but the process has taken longer than anticipated.To that end, the board hoped to vote on it at its May 13 meeting.

It’s worth noting that the school is hiring a new CEO amid a complete board overhaul while also trying to provide stability for parents and teachers.

Superintendent John White made a visit to the school in March and asked teachers to stick with Lycée for another year. At the time, teachers were concerned about the school’s leadership in the coming year. White told them then that a new leader would be in place by May.

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