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Panelist Bio


John Warner Smith
CEO, Education’s Next Horizon

John Warner Smith is the founding Chief Executive Officer of Education’s Next Horizon, a statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting reforms in the public education system. He previously served as Secretary of Labor for Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco from January 2004 to November 2007.

Smith is a former banker, having worked five years as a Vice President in the government banking division of JP Morgan Chase Bank. Prior to joining Chase, he served as Assistant City Manager of Development and Transportation Services for the City of Tallahassee, Florida, where he administered the development arm of city government.

From 1989 to 1997, he served as Chief Administrative Officer for Lafayette Parish and Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government, where he oversaw all departments and led the planning and implementation of local government consolidation.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from McNeese State University He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In May 2012, he will receive the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree from the University of New Orleans.

Current Topic


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

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»»» View all Topics!
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