Update: Rapides Super Search - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Update: Rapides Super Search

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RAPIDES PARISH, La. - After hurricane holidays and the long weekend, Rapides Parish schools are back in session, but without a key player--the superintendent.

News Channel 5's Kathleen Witte found out who's taking charge now, and what the plan is going forward.

Eddie Mae Washington says there's only one big difference between this school day and any other.

Eddie Mae Washington, assistant superintendent: "We're working. Our superintendent Gary Jones is no longer with us."

Rapides Parish Superintendent Dr. Gary Jones served his last day fFriday, which makes Tuesday the first day the parish hasn't had a superintendent in almost nine years. Dr. Jones was not re-elected by the school board and would have had to step down in December, but he pre-empted that by resigning last week.

Washington: "Today has been a regular school day. Our school are in session, teachers are teaching, and students are learning."

So as the assistant superintendent of education, Washington has had to take on some extra duties in light of Dr. Jones's decision.

Washington: "That doesn't bother me in the least. We are here for the students."

But Washington will soon be getting some help, and a new boss. At a meeting Tuesday night, the school board will discuss hiring an interim superintendent. And public forums about the new superintendent search start this week as well.

Steve Berry, Rapides Parish School Board: "It may accelerate the time that we have to look for somebody, rather than a December date for not having a superintendent, we're certainly going to have to do something sooner than that."

School board members say choosing a new superintendent is a job they don't take lightly. They've even hired a search firm to help. But the process is still in the first stages--looking for potential candidates.

Berry: "At some point in time, hopefully sooner rather than later, we'll get a first blush of that."

Eddie Mae Washington says she's most interested in doing the job the district is supposed to do, keeping the kids of Rapides parish learning.

Washington: "I haven't really had time to think about it. We've been working. We've been busy taking care of business."

And hope the business of a new superintendent is decided quickly.

You can weigh in on the superintendent search too. The first public forum for community input will be held at Tioga High School this Thursday evening at six.

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