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JP Schools Appoints New Chief Student Support Officer

Ajit “A.J.” Pethe

Jefferson Parish Schools exists to provide the education our students deserve to succeed in life and make our world a better place. To achieve this mission requires talented educators at all levels of the organization.

JP Schools Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley has announced the appointment of Ajit “A.J.” Pethe as Chief Student Support Officer. Pethe currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for St. Charles Parish Public Schools where he holds oversight of many functions, including special education.

“Landing a lauded, established leader like Mr. Pethe is a big win for the students and families in Jefferson Parish,” said Dr. Brumley. “He will bring a depth of knowledge, ear for feedback, superior work ethic, and will further diversify my executive cabinet.”

The Chief Student Support Officer is responsible for a wide spectrum of duties designed to remove barriers and ensure students access to a quality education. These include areas such as student exceptionalities, wellness, and mental health.

Pethe is a graduate of Grace King High and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of New Orleans. As a Jefferson Parish resident, his children attend JP Schools.

A former middle school teacher, Pethe also served as principal of Luling Elementary. The school advanced its School Performance Score (SPS) from 75.1 to 102.3 under his leadership. In 2014, Pethe was named Louisiana’s State Principal of the Year. He also holds the title of National Distinguished Principal from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

Recent outcomes for special education students in St. Charles Parish have been noteworthy. The district has outpaced the state average in special education students scoring at the mastery level on LEAP, they have doubled the state average in special education students earning academic credentials, and have twice the college enrollment rate for special education students than the Louisiana average.

Pethe is bilingual and holds a Level 3 Leader endorsement from the Louisiana Department of Education – the highest certification available to Louisiana educators.

Under Dr. Brumley’s leadership, JP Schools launched a comprehensive review of special education programs and practices while working alongside national experts and local stakeholders. Pethe is tasked with implementing recommended changes to streamline operations, improve communication with families, ensure legal compliance, expand mental health offerings, and seek innovative ways to better serve students in need.

“Like others throughout our state, I am excited about the renewed energy in Jefferson Parish Schools,” said Pethe. “I look forward to collaborating with everyone, ensuring equity for all kids, and helping shape the future of my community.”

Pethe will begin his work in Jefferson Parish on June 4.

Jefferson Parish Schools is the largest and most diverse public school system in
Louisiana and the 98th largest in the nation. Our system of 85 schools serves
around 50,000 students on both sides of the Mississippi River. With approximately
7,000 employees, JP Schools is one of the largest employers in Jefferson Parish.
Our district exists to provide the education our students deserve to succeed in life
and make our world a better place.