Nakia Edwards, chief of staff at the Hamilton County Board of Education, introduces Tennessee Commissioner of Education Dr. Penny Schwinn during the 38th Annual Superintendentճ Honors Banquet at the Chattanooga Convention Center Monday, April 29, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Hamilton County Schools Chief of Staff T. Nakia Towns Edwards is one of two finalists for a superintendent position in Louisiana.

The East Baton Rouge School Board is scheduled to meet Thursday and choose between Towns Edwards and Leslie Brown, a current administrator in Broward County, Florida.

East Baton Rouge Parish School System is a public school district with about 90 schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Towns Edwards was selected as one of five finalists in the district's hunt for its next superintendent in March, according to the local newspaper, The Advocate, in Baton Rouge. Since then, she participated in virtual video interviews and traveled to Baton Rouge for a public town hall and in-person interview.

Towns Edwards was appointed chief of staff by Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson in December 2017.

She had previously been a candidate for the Hamilton County superintendent position, but Johnson ultimately got the job and took over leadership of the district in July 2017.

Towns Edwards is a former assistant commissioner of data and research and oversaw statewide testing at the Tennessee Department of Education. She also is a former chief accountability officer for Knox County Schools, which she joined after leaving a corporate career.

Her appointment as chief of staff was one of several moves Johnson made to establish a "c-suite," or senior leadership team, for the district.

"This new organizational structure will allow Hamilton County Schools to focus attention on academic improvement and streamline our resources to be more effective in our service to children and the community," Johnson said in a news release at the time.

If she is chosen and takes the position, Towns Edwards would be the second member of Johnson's senior leadership team to leave their role in less than a year. Ken Bradshaw, former chief operations officer for the district, was named superintendent of Richmond County Schools in Augusta, Georgia, in August 2019 and left Hamilton County in September.

Johnson has made other changes to his administration this spring, after budget cuts led to the district cutting two central office positions and reorganizing its five learning communities.

The East Baton Rouge School Board meets at 5 p.m. CST on Thursday.

Contact Meghan Mangrum at or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.