Fairburn announces run for Senate seat

Published 4:05 am Saturday, June 1, 2019

Washington Parish School Superintendent Darrell Fairburn has announced his candidacy for Louisiana State Senate from District 12.

“I’ve lived and served in this community for my entire life. As your State Senator, I will be both effective and accessible. Living in Tangipahoa Parish, working in Washington Parish, and making frequent trips to St. Tammany Parish provides me with a unique perspective on the needs of District 12’s residents. I plan to remain just as accessible as I have been in the past as a Superintendent, so you can remain confident your voice and concerns will be heard on the Senate floor,” Fairburn said.

Fairburn has extensive experience in education, leadership, and community service. He has served as the Washington Parish School Superintendent for 13 years, supervising ten schools, with approximately 5,400 students and 800 employees. During his time as superintendent, Fairburn has been effective in increasing the school system’s success, and the students have benefited from his dedication. Fairburn raised graduation rates by 5.8 percent, the districts letter grade to a B, and increased the percentage of students performing at a mastery level on state exams by 12 percent.

Fairburn was recognized as the Louisiana Superintendent of the Year in 2016. He is also a member of the ACT Louisiana Advisory Council, the Louisiana Association of School Executives, and the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. Fairburn served on the Southeastern Louisiana University Redesign Team for the Master’s Degree in School Administration and Supervision, the High School Relations Committee, the Louisiana High Athletic Association, and he worked as a summer camp counselor in the JTPA program for nine years.

Before serving as the Washington Parish Superintendent, Fairburn spent 12 years as the Principal of Sumner High School in Tangipahoa Parish. He was then appointed to Supervisor of Personnel for the Tangipahoa Parish School System. Fairburn served as the Principal of West Side Middle School in Amite. He was also the Assistant Principal at Sumner High School and Assistant Football Coach and Head Boys Track Coach at that same school. Fairburn spent three years as the Assistant Principal of Spring Creek High School after teaching physical education, social studies, and science while coaching boys basketball and track.

Fairburn has a long record of public service, both for his country and his community. Fairburn served in the United States Air Force for four years as a Communication Specialist and served in the Vietnam War.

In his community, Fairburn is a member of the Franklinton Rotary Club where he won the 2014 Paul Harris Award, the Franklinton Area Economic Development Foundation, the Franklinton Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legion Kentwood Post.

“I love this community and my greatest desire is to serve the people of District 12. You know me as a coach, teacher, superintendent, and friend. If elected, I’m confident you will know me as one of District 12’s best and most accessible State Senators.” Fairburn said.

Fairburn, 64, graduated from Spring Creek High School and went on to attend both Florida Parishes Vocational School in Business and Southeastern Louisiana University. He received both his B.A. in Physical Education and Master’s in Education plus thirty graduate hours from Southeastern Louisiana University. He was a member of Phi Kappa Epsilon Honors Fraternity and the Beta club. Fairburn was recognized as the Southeastern Louisiana University College of Education Distinguished Alumni in March of 2013.

In addition to his college education, Fairburn completed training in Total Quality Management and LEAD by the State Department of Education. He also completed LATIP Assessor training and is certified as a facilitator in Covey Leadership from the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Fairburn has been married to Tish Cooper for 42 years. Together they have two children and four grandchildren. He has been a Deacon at Spring Creek Baptist Church for 38 years where he teaches the Senior Citizens Sunday School Class. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

District 12 encompasses all of Washington Parish, a portion of Tangipahoa Parish and northern St. Tammany Parish. Voting will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12.