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Hamilton County Schools Chief of Staff T. Nakia Towns Edwards speaks during a Hamilton County Schools budget work session on Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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

Towns Edwards participated in a round of virtual video interviews with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, a public school district with about 90 schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier this month.

She was selected as one of the finalists in the district's hunt for its next superintendent in March, according to the local newspaper, The Advocate, in Baton Rogue. Two of the finalists are current employees of the school district and the out-of-town finalists include Towns Edwards, Leslie Brown of Broward County Public Schools in Florida and Marshall Tuck, former president of a California-based charter school group, according to The Advocate.

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.

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.

Towns Edwards confirmed that she was under consideration for the position in Baton Rouge and told the Times Free Press she expected to hear more information about the position later this month. The East Baton Rouge Parish school board is expected to select finalists on May 21.

If she were chosen and took 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.

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

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