The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education named Northwestern State University alumnus Dr. Cade Brumley state superintendent of education Wednesday. Brumley will replace John White, who resigned earlier this year.
“As a Louisiana native, I am extremely honored to be selected by a student-friendly BESE,” Brumley said. “Louisiana may not be the largest state in the union, but we have a big table for collaboration. I look forward to bringing people together to collectively move our state forward. We are primed for continued improvement, drawing on successes of the past and the promise for our future. I will fight for our children, families, and communities each day. They deserve our best.”
During his career Brumley has served students as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, district leader and superintendent, most recently as superintendent of Jefferson Parish schools since he was unanimously appointed to that position in 2018, and as superintendent in DeSoto Parish schools from 2012-18.
Brumley earned a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance with a minor in social studies at Northwestern State in 2002, a master’s in education administration from LSU-S in 2004 and a doctorate in education leadership at Stephen F. Austin in 2007.
He began his career as a teacher and coach in Caddo Parish before serving as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and later principal in Sabine Parish. During his tenure in DeSoto, schools there vaulted from being ranked 49th in the state to ninth.
In Jefferson Parish, Louisiana’s largest school district, Brumley implemented changes that included expanding the parish’s Spanish-language offerings for new arrivals, changing some traditional middle schools into K-8 schools and reorganizing the central office. Brumley also helped marshal business leaders and teacher unions to convince voters to endorse a 10-year property tax hike to raise pay for teachers and other employees. That increase, combined with another $5 million in cost savings enacted earlier, increased starting teacher salaries from about $41,000 per year to about $46,000, the second highest in the New Orleans area.
Brumley is also a graduate of the Harvard Superintendents Academy and author of “Leadership Standards in Action: The School Principal as Servant-Leader.” He is a dynamic public speaker, a triathlete and marathoner.
Brumley has remained involved at Northwestern and currently serves on the board of director of the NSU Alumni Association.
Brumley was honored by NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development in 2015 when he was named an Outstanding Young Professional in Education, an award that recognizes outstanding young professionals who made contributions in Pre-K through higher education or to the profession of education through teaching, research or community service.
Brumley is married to the former Toni Vail, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at NSU in 2000 and 2002. They are parents to two sons.
“We offer hearty congratulations to Dr. Brumley, an educator, administrator and advocate with a demonstrated history of leadership whose first priority has always been the students he serves,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “We are proud that one of our own will assume this role and we believe that a bright future is ahead for the children and youth of Louisiana.”
Brumley is one of three NSU alumni to serve as Louisiana’s superintendent of education. T.H. Harris, who served in that role from 1908-1940, was enrolled at Louisiana State Normal College, as NSU was then known, in 1893. William “Bill” Dodd, who served from 1964-72, graduated in 1934.