BESE Member Biographical Summary


Preston Castille

Preston Castille
BESE District 8 Representative

Preston Castille is the president of Helix Community Schools, a network of elementary and secondary schools in South Louisiana. The Helix network includes Helix Mentorship STEAM Academy, Helix Aviation Academy, and Helix Legal Academy. Helix acquired Cristo Rey/Franciscan High School in 2023 and has adopted the school's heralded corporate work study program which operates at its downtown Baton Rouge campus. Beginning in 2025, Helix will launch two new K-12 schools in Opelousas: Helix AI & Medical Academy and Helix Energy & Agriculture Academy.

A strong believer in the power of education, Preston is also an elected member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary & Secondary Education (BESE). He is the immediate past board vice president, past chair of the Academic Goals Committee, and the current chair of the School Innovation and Turnaround Committee. He has served as a BESE representative on the MFP Task Force, Dual Enrollment Task Force, the HBCU Advisory Council, LOSFA Advisory Board, and the College and Career Readiness Commission. Elected in 2019 and reelected in 2023, his district includes 14 parishes.

Preston is a Southern University Law Center adjunct law professor and a former LSU Law School adjunct law professor. He is also a trustee and general counsel for the Southern University System Foundation and a former national president and general counsel of the Southern University Alumni Federation. An alum of Tulane Law School, Preston also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board. Prior to law school, Preston worked as an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

In 2009, the Louisiana Supreme Court appointed Preston Judge Pro Tempore, and he presided over hundreds of civil and criminal trials and hearings. Preston retired as a partner and Executive Committee member of the Taylor Porter law firm in 2020, after 25 years of practice with the firm. He now owns a small law firm.

Over the last four years, Preston has helped manage the development and implementation of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation. The Foundation is a remarkable partnership between the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church and Descendants of persons enslaved and sold by the Order in 1838. Based in Baton Rouge, this Descendant & Jesuit partnership represents a powerful part of Louisiana and U.S. history as the Foundation pursues truth and reconciliation through the joining of hearts and hands of the descendants of enslaved ancestors and the present successors of Jesuit enslavers.

Preston graduated valedictorian from Plaisance High School in St. Landry Parish.  He and his wife, Marian, have three children.