Superintendent Darwan Lazard
Superintendent Lazard is up for yearly award
Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard, senior pastor of Ninth Baptist Church, is nominated to represent Southwest Louisiana (Regions 4 and 5) Superintendents’ Association as a 2021 State Superintendent of the Year candidate. He has served as chairman of the southwest regional organization since January 2018.
“Darwan uses his exceptional organizational skills to create educational excellences and improve academic outcomes for all students,” said Evangeline Parish School Board President Wayne Dardeau. “He is a highly effective communicator who calmly listens to all sides - policy makers, community leaders, students, administrators, teachers, parents, and families - to foster engagement and understanding.”
Prior to becoming superintendent in January 2017, Lazard served in many positions as an educator. He was an alternative education teacher at Lafayette Middle School from January to August 1993 before becoming a regular education teacher at James Stephens Elementary and Bayou Chicot High School.
After four year years in the classroom, Lazard became interim principal of Academic and Career Education in August 1997. He served in that position until January 1998 when he became interim principal of Carver Elementary.
The interim tag was removed in March 1998, and he stayed in Chataignier until he became principal of James Stephens Elementary in July 2003. The following year, he became principal of Ville Platte High.
A year later, Lazard served as interim supervisor of elementary instruction from July to December 2005, supervisor of elementary instruction from December 2005 to June 2007, desegregation compliance supervisor from July 2007 to June 2012, parish administrator from June 2009 to June 2013, and assistant superintendent from July 2013 to December 2016.
During his career in education, Lazard performed several core accomplishments. He was selected as finalist for Louisiana Teacher of the Year in 1996-1997. He administered productively as principal of three Evangeline Parish School District schools, and all three schools acquired substantive academic growth. He directed resolving the school district’s 47-year-old federal desegregation case.
Lazard was the first person to be selected unanimously as superintendent of schools in Evangeline Parish and was the youngest to serve in that capacity. As superintendent, he managed budgets successfully to achieve surpluses in every major district fund for the first time in decades which led to the first locally passed pay raise for employees in 2018, was acknowledged by Governor John Bel Edwards for having 100% of the district’s high schools being recognized by US News and World Report, led Evangeline Parish School District to maintain its “B” ranking for three consecutive years for the first time despite rigourous changes to the state’s accountability system for schools and districts by the La. Department of Education, guided 2020 seniors to grow on ACTs despite innumerable challenges due to COVID-19 and hurricanes, and was nominated by the La. Association of School Superintendents to represent all of the state’s 69 district-level superintendents on the Governing Board of the AASA-The National Superintendents’ Association from 2018 to 2020.
“Pastor Lazard is an awe-inspiring leader who cares about everyone,” said Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. “He is a gentle giant with a true servant’s heart who works determinedly and assiduously to improve lives educationally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, and psychologically. His compelling convictions create a learning culture, dedication, and achievement.”