Six people have applied to become the next Bossier Schools Superintendent, including the man currently serving in the position as interim superintendent.
The window closed Wednesday for applications to be submitted for consideration for the position. On Friday morning, the Bossier Parish School District released the names and the applicants’ resumes.
Current Interim Superintendent Mitch Downey is among the applicants. Downey has served his entire educational career in Bossier Parish, starting as a teacher and coach at Bossier High School in 1985. Before becoming Assistant Superintendent of Bossier schools in 2016, he was Principal at Benton High School from 2012 to 2016 and served an Assistant Principal at the high school for four years before that, and an Assistant Principal at Parkway High School from 2010 to 2012.
Downey was named interim superintendent in February following the resignation of former Superintendent Scott Smith, who was the target of an investigation involving mail-order drugs being shipped into the United States from other countries.
In his application, Downey says, “I am confident in my abilities to lead Bossier Schools into the future with stability, humility and strength. My past experiences have prepared me to help create a culture of mutual respect, dignity and collaboration with all stakeholders. I will be a passionate advocate for students, teachers, administrators and all members of the Bossier Schools family and community. Thank you for allowing me to compete for the opportunity to lead this great school system at this vitally important time.“
Also among the applicants is Victor Mainiero, who is currently the Executive Director of School Performance for Caddo Parish Public Schools. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education and a Masters of Education in Educational Administration from Centenary, Mainiero has worked in Caddo Parish schools since starting out as a Social Studies teacher at Southwood High School in 1994. He joined the school district administration in 2012, after serving five years as Principal at Youree Drive Middle School.
The current principal of Central Park Elementary School in Bossier City has also applied for the superintendent’s job. Dr. Vicki Younger since moved to Bossier from Rapides Parish in 2018 for the job at Central Park Elementary. Before that, she was Director of Human Resources for the Rapides Parish School Board. She has also served as an elementary school principal, assistant principal, and English and Social Studies teacher in Rapides.
Clarence M. Robinson of Thibodeaux, Louisiana also applied for the top job in Bossier Parish schools. According to his application, Robinson is currently a Senior Associate for a Georgia consulting firm, where he provides leadership training for principals. He served as Superintendent at Pine Bluff School District in Arkansas from June 2016 to June 2018. Before that, he was an Instructional Director and principal in Prince George’s County, Maryland and a principal at Meriwether County School System in Georgia.
Applicant Brian T. Binggeli does not list a current position. He most recently was Superintendent of the Plano Independent School District in Texas from 2015 to 2018. Binggelli abruptly resigned from the position two years into a three-year contract, citing a difference in philosophy with the school district’s Board of Trustees. He noted in a statement attached to his application that the mutual separation was “conducted in a professional and amicable way,“ and included references from both a current and former member of the board.
Binggeli lead Brevard Public Schools for six years before leaving that job for the superintendent’s job in Plano. He began his career as a teacher in Elyria, Ohio in 1981 and served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal in Virginia. He has been a principal at both the middle and high school level.
Elizabeth Swinford is the Chief Executive Officer/Consultant for PD Remix of New York and prior to that was schools superintendent for the Tuscaloosa County school system in Alabama from 2013 to 2015. She also served as superintendent for Vicksburg Warren school district in Mississippi from 2010 to 2013.
The Bossier Parish School Board is now in the process of verifying required credentials. They say the next step will be for school board members to meet the first week of April to review the applications and move forward with the interview process. Final interviews are expected to take place the week of April 22.