Oct 022017

The Cohen College Prep High School band marches with the Mystic Krewe of Nyx on Magazine Street on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The New Orleans College Prep charter network has relaunched its search for a new leader, with board members hoping to begin soliciting applicants by the middle of October.

The network — which currently operates Sylvanie Williams elementary, Crocker elementary, Cohen High School and the Hoffman early-childhood center — has been in a period of transitional leadership since last fall, when founder Ben Kleban won an unopposed election to the Orleans Parish School Board seat being vacated by Seth Bloom. His two top deputies — Natalie Kaharick on operations and Andy Parker on academics — were promoted to co-CEOs, but Parker parted ways with the school the following spring amid the struggle to obtain a passing School Performance Score for Sylvanie Williams.

In June, the board named Kaharick the interim CEO for the 2017-18 school year, but announced its intention to begin a national search for a permanent school leader. Her contract has been the subject of several lengthy closed-door sessions by the board since then, and after another one on Monday night, the board said they were moving forward with the organization of a CEO-search committee to be led by board members Stephen Boyard and Julia Walker.

The committee is continuing to use the services of Mollie Mitchell’s K12 Search Group educational leadership consulting firm. They are refining the job description for the CEO position, and they hope to have the job posted by Oct. 15, Walker said.

The board did not specify how long the position will be advertised or open to applicants, and said they will rely on Mitchell to guide them on the timeline. She will have a better sense of when the opening has reached enough potential candidates, they said.

Kaharick has expressed tentative interest in seeking the post as well, depending on how the job description is crafted. On Monday, board chair Peter Harding reiterated the invitation for her to seek the position.

“The board hopes you will put in an application as well,” Harding said to Kaharick.

The board also heard from the school about a new marketing campaign around Crocker and Cohen individually, rather than as a part of the New Orleans College Prep network, as well as new fundraising opportunities for Hoffman. There were no updates on the status of Sylvanie Williams’ charter.

See below for live coverage.

Live Blog NO College Prep board meeting – Oct. 2, 2017

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