A local education leader is putting her skills to the test at the state level. Dr. Heather Spillers Poole has applied to become Louisiana’s next State Superintendent of Education.
Poole currently works as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Student Services, Enrollment Management and Foundation Relations at Central Louisiana Technical Community College. She’s been at the school since 2015.
The search for a new superintendent began after current Superintendent of Education, John White announced his resignation.
Over the last decade, Dr. Poole has been associated with several major reform projects in Central Louisiana; most notable is her work increasing enrollment at both LSUA and CLTCC. Prior to Poole being employed at both of the Central Louisiana colleges, each institution suffered with consecutive years of declining enrollment. Today, both colleges are enjoying record enrollment growths.
While Poole is a native of Central Louisiana, she knows her way around Baton Rouge. Poole served in Baton Rouge at the Board of Regents as the Assistant Commissioner for Assessment and Economic Development for nearly a decade and has experience working with every school district throughout Louisiana. Through her various roles in education, she believes she is uniquely qualified for the position.
“We need to focus more attention on learning outcomes and give less attention to how districts are scored,” Dr. Poole said. She thinks increasing career and technical education is a critical aspect that can provide opportunities “to get students high-wage jobs immediately after high school — especially in our rural communities. While it may sound old-school, I think the idea of bringing back high quality/high tech shop classes makes sense for students.”
She also mentioned that too many students are leaving high school under prepared. Dr. Poole believes it is critical that the state provide an opportunity for all students to graduate high school either ready for college (technical, two-year or four-year), without the need of remedial classes, or to have students graduate high school ready to successfully enter directly into the workforce.
“Without a doubt, talent is equally distributed throughout Louisiana. Unfortunately, opportunity is not.” she said. “When so many kids graduate without readiness skills for college, you realize we’re not doing our job as a state.”
BESE will be selecting the next Superintendent within the next few weeks. To support her in this role contact your local BESE member. https://bese.louisiana.gov/about-bese/bese-members