Following a months-long search, Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans has hired Keith Bartlett as the charter school’s chief executive officer.

Keith Bartlett
Keith Bartlett Credit: Marta Jewson / The Lens

At a special board meeting Thursday the board voted to offer Bartlett the job after interviewing him in a closed session. Members Erin Greenwald and Jean Montes were charged with negotiating his contract, and with a looming June 30 deadline, the two wasted no time.

“It is my great pleasure to announce that Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans has a new CEO/Principal,” Greenwald said in an email Saturday.

She said Bartlett had signed his contract that day and would begin working Monday, which is also the first day of the school’s fiscal year.

The embattled charter school has been searching for a CEO since November, when then-CEO Jean-Jacques Grandiere resigned, temporarily leaving the school without a leader. Shortly after his resignation Gisele Schexnider was hired as academic director and has since served as the school’s interim CEO.

Bartlett will earn a salary of $90,000 to lead the French curriculum charter school through the 2013-2014 school year, according to his contract provided to The Lens Saturday.

Bartlett’s contract also indicates he may “spend up to ten work days consulting with the Louisiana A+ Schools Foundation”, which are to be considered “consulting days”. When Bartlett applied for the position he was mentoring principals for the foundation.

Bartlett previously served as principal at Alice Boucher World Languages Academy in Lafayette, something committee members said ultimately convinced them that Bartlett was the man for the job.

Parents who attended Bartlett’s second interview with the CEO search committee jokingly referred to him as the “school whisperer.”

“It appears he’s contacted quite frequently to turn schools around and that’s quite impressive to us,” parent Niki Rachal told the committee.

Parents also seemed pleased after Thursday’s meeting, when all that was left to do was sign the contract.

“We’re looking forward to a great new year with a great new leader,” Rachal said Thursday.

Lens contributor Della Hasselle contributed to this report.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...