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Administrators shift positions in school district

VIDALIA — Some familiar faces — and one new face — started their new administrative positions this month throughout the Concordia Parish School District.

Several personnel changes have shifted six school district employees to different positions including principal, assistant principal and Title 1 supervisor.

Changes include:

•Phyllis Cage will move from Ferriday Junior High School to Vidalia Lower Elementary as principal.

“I started teaching at Vidalia Lower and taught here for nine years, so it’s kind of like being back home for me,” Cage said. “The only difference for me is that where I used to work, I would be looking at the students at eye level and now I have to look down a little to make eye contact.”

•Arlana Davis will move from Ferriday Lower Elementary School to Ferriday Junior High School as principal.

•Ralph Simmons will be the new assistant principal at Monterey High School.

Simmons will leave his role as principal at Georgetown High School in Georgetown, La., to arrive at Monterey High School next week.

•Melissa Doughty will move from Vidalia Lower Elementary to Ferriday Lower Elementary as assistant principal.

•Buddy Givens will move from Monterey High School to be a Title 1 supervisor.

•Debra Harris will move from Vidalia Lower Elementary to be a Title 1 supervisor.

“It’s a change and a challenge, but one I’m certainly looking forward to continuing,” Harris said. “I’ll be working on the curriculum for all elementary schools in the district and helping teachers and administrators in any way I can.”

Superintendent Paul Nelson said some of the changes were related to a number of teachers retiring but also to begin creating experienced teams of leaders at all of the schools within the district.

“I really like the way we’re beginning to structure everyone in the district to better help each school and the district overall,” Nelson said. “We’ve been doing a lot of shifting around this year, but hopefully these changes will be in place for a long time to come.

“It’s going to be a transition time for some people, but I think once that’s done we’ll be in great shape.”

Apart from the employees shifted throughout the district, Nelson said two new education team groups were established in hopes of helping each school with the transition into the Common Core State Standards.

The elementary education team is comprised of Harris, Cindy Smith, director of elementary schools, and Linda Spinks, reading first supervisor.

The secondary education team is comprised of Rhonda Wilson, Title 1 supervisor, Rhonda Moore, career and technical education coordinator, and Givens.

Nelson said the teams will begin working at the central administrative building, but that he hopes to move them to specific schools early this semester.

“That’s where the rubber hits the road so to speak, so these teams need to be housed at the school sites where they can provide assistance and support to teachers, administrators and supervisors,” Nelson said. “We want to create a situation where we have a team of people available that knows exactly what’s going on at a specific school to help them get through all these changes.

“We’re all in this thing together and when we put all this experience together under one roof, it’s going to help us build a great team.”