Former Caddo Parish public schools school superintendent Ollie Tyler has formally announced her intention to run for mayor of Shreveport.
Surrounded by supporters, Tyler made the announcement at a news conference in downtown Shreveport Tuesday morning, laying out a her vision for "a safe environment, an economic opportunity, educational attainment, and a good quality of life."
"We have a vision, but what is needed is a leader to move us from vision to action. I am a leader of action and I will work untiringly to unite our city to create an atmosphere of hope, pride and excitement. "
Included in that vision for educational attainment, Tyler says, is improving the district's financial stability and raising academic performance.
Most of Tyler's career has been in public education, beginning as high school math teacher in Caddo Parish. She moved up through the ranks as an assistant principal, principal, director of middle schools and deputy superintendent before she became the interim superintendent for Orleans Parish Schools in 2002.
One year later, she became the first woman and first African-American to serve as superintendent of schools for the Caddo Parish public school system.
In 2007, Tyler was recruited to become Assistant Superintendent of Education for the State of Louisiana, and went on to serve as interim superintendent after Paul Pastorek resigned in May 2011.
Pointing out that mayor is the CEO of the city, Tyler says, "I have served as the CEO of the largest and 3rd largest school systems in the State of Louisiana, as well as served our state in my role as Interim State Superintendent."
"Both the city and the school system are funded with public dollars and I have demonstrated that I am a good steward of public funds."
Tyler, now 69, has most recently been doing consulting work and volunteering.
Burrell is expected to formally announce his candidacy after the end of the legislative session in May. Shreveport City Councilor Sam Jenkins was once expected to run, but canceled his announcement in March after the existence of several tax liens and civil suits against his private law practice were made public.
Caddo Commissioner Michael Williams, civic activist Maxine Sarpy and former Mayor Keith Hightower have also been mentioned as potential candidates.
Qualifying for the November 4th election will take place August 20-22.
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