Superintendent Patrice Pujol in the spotlight

Charlotte Guedry
Patrice Pujol is the Superintendent of Schools for Ascension Parish. She is a native of Ascension Parish, has worked for the Ascension Parish School System for more than 30 years in a number of roles including English teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, and assistant superintendent.

How did you become interested in a career in education?

Most of my young life I knew I would be an educator. I was a good student, enjoyed school, and had so many teachers who influenced me. I wanted to be able to positively influence others as teachers had influenced me.

What do you enjoy most about your post, and what do you enjoy least?

I love the fast pace and the fact that I get to work with other phenomenal educational leaders to solve problems all day. I least enjoy when I am unable to come up with win/win solutions to some of the complex issues that challenge our school system.

What does your typical day consist of?

My day usually starts at 6:30 or7:00 in the morning fielding calls and emails from my directors on issues or problems that have arisen. I may then meet with our Director of School Improvement to discuss plans for our latest instructional initiatives. I may stop by a professional development session, to interact with and learn with our teachers. I may also meet with our Planning and Construction Director or Business Manager to receive updates with our building program or budget. I may stop by a school to chat with a principal about the improvement initiatives he or she is implementing on campus. I may then meet with our Human Resources Director concerning an employee issue. Between these events I will take phone calls from individual parents or community members about problems or concerns they may have. I might also address the Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce. I also often attend state wide meeting to give input on educational issues. In the evening I generally have a meeting or event. For example, this week I spoke at a Martin Luther King Day celebration, conducted a school board meeting, and updated the Ascension Parish Economic Development Family group on the school district. It is a fast-paced; busy schedule, but one that is very exciting and invigorating

Is there a specific achievement during your career that you are most proud of?

One of my greatest achievements was being able to work with teams of teacher leaders, principals, and central office staff to demonstrate that the Ascension Parish School System had met all of the rigorous standards to achieve District Accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. I loved the opportunity to interact with our teachers and administrators in order to highlight all of the excellent, professional work that is happening in our schools.

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to follow a path in education, whether it be as a teacher or an administrator?

The key ingredient to being an educator is having a passion for children and their success. Great educators continuously strive to improve their practice because they understand that the future of our children depend on their doing so.