Top school superintendent to speak at Southeastern Commencement
Monday, May 4, 2015
by: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND - One of Louisiana's top educational leaders will address Southeastern Louisiana University graduating students at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16.
Patrice B. Pujol, superintendent of the Ascension Parish School System and the 2015 Louisiana Superintendent of the Year, is the invited speaker for the event scheduled for 10 a.m. at the University Center. The system is comprised of 21,500 K-12 students in 28 schools in the parish.
The university will confer approximately 1,175 degrees on students who are graduating with bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university will recognize its first group of doctoral degrees in advanced nurse practice when eight students are hooded at the ceremony.
Pujol received her recognition as top superintendent last November from the Louisiana Association of School Executives and the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. The award is given each year to the superintendent who demonstrates excellence in education, leadership and district school performance.
She received her bachelor's degree from Southeastern in French Education in 1976. She later earned a doctorate at Southeastern in educational leadership, where she completed her dissertation on school district organization processes that promote efficacy and improved student achievement.
Pujol has worked in education for 38 years as a teacher, principal, director of secondary schools, director of school improvement, and assistant superintendent.
Under her leadership, the school system has become one of the top performing districts in the state. The district recently received an "A" rating for the third consecutive year and improved its District Performance score to rank No. 4 overall among public school districts in the state.
Pujol has initiated and implemented such innovations as the instructional coach program, a district-wide curriculum framework with benchmark assessments and a leadership assessment and development program. Most recently, she has worked with her leadership team to create a "Turnaround Zone" to redirect concentrated support for the lowest performing schools in the district.