She’s the super

Wade McIntyre

The assistant superintendent of schools in Ascension Parish has moved up the ladder.

Patrice Pujol was unanimously selected Superintendent of Schools by the school board members at the April 6 meeting.

Pujol, a lifelong resident of Ascension Parish, is the first women to hold the post.

“I have an undying commitment to lead this school system,” Patrice told teachers, administrators and family members who roundly applauded her selection.

Superintendent Donald Songy, whom she will succeed after a transition period this spring, said the board “could not have chosen a better person.”

Songy and Pujol have worked in tandem since her appointment as assistant superintendent in 2006. The Ascension Parish School system received prestigious SACS accreditation during that time period.

Pujol was selected over James A. Taylor, head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Southern University, the sole other candidate for the job.

The board began its search to replace Songy after the superintendent announced his retirement in January, following four years on the job.

School Board President Ed Price told Pujol the board knows she will “do a great job” because she is “so dedicated to this parish.”

Price added that the board still has to negotiate Pujol’s contract during the transition period.

Pujol told The Citizen her biggest goal will be to bring parish schools to first place in accountability testing, a goal she believes is achievable. A larger scale goal, with objectives that reach long into the future, will be pursuit of the school system’s tagline program, “Every Child Successful.”

Accepting the position, Pujol thanked members of her family, including her mother, who she said in a breaking voice was a model for what it means to be a strong woman, and how to use strong womanhood in the service of others.

Pujol started her career in 1977 as an English teacher, and during that time was presenter at numerous state and national conferences on behalf of the system.

In 1994, she became a high school administrator. During that time she initiated 4x4 block scheduling and instructional reforms.

Pujol became a Director of Secondary Education in 1999.

She was Director of School Improvement from 2003-06.

As assistant superintendent beginning in 2006, she directly managed and supervised department functions of Ascension primary, middle and high schools, Special Education, Student Services, Federal Programs, and school improvement.