Election to be held to fill board seat

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – An election will probably be held this fall to fill the vacant Concordia Parish School Board seat of Eddie Coleman, who died Sunday after a bout with cancer.

That item will probably be placed on either the Nov. 7 or Dec. 9 ballot, said parish Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber.

The board will appoint someone to serve in the District 2 seat until that time. &uot;The board must appoint a replacement if there is more than one year left in the term,&uot; Webber said. Coleman had three years left in his second term on the board.

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The board’s next regular meeting will be March 7. But as of Monday, board President Mike Grantham had not spoken with other board members to see when they will appoint a replacement. There is no deadline for the board must appoint a new member, Webber said after consulting with the Secretary of State’s Office Monday morning.

In order to serve on a school board, a person must be at least 18 and must have lived for two years in Louisiana and one year in the district in which he is running. He must be also able to read and write, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

A person appointed to the board must meet the same qualifications, Webber said.

Coleman’s funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Vidalia Junior High, where he once served as principal. Other arrangements were incomplete at Concordia Funeral Home as of Monday.

Just last week, Coleman himself was planning his funeral by telephone, asking to use the junior high facilities and asking former superintendent James Lee to help lead the memorial service. Coleman served the district for more than 30 years as a teacher, principal and supervisor. He was &uot;very driven, very devoted to his work,&uot; according to current Vidalia Junior High Principal Fred Marsalis.

Marsalis said Coleman, for whom flags at the district’s central office flew at half mast Monday, was the first principal he worked for when he came to the district in 1968.

&uot;He was always there for me, giving me information and guidance … when I&160;was learning what to do as principal,&uot; Marsalis said.

Marsalis also worked with Coleman’s wife at Vidalia Junior High and was there when Coleman’s three sons attended school. &uot;I&160;was close with him and his whole family,&uot;&160;he said.

Lee, who served as principal of the school after Coleman’s time there, remembered Coleman as a person who always came to meetings informed and prepared.

&uot;And one thing about him, you always knew where he stood,&uot; Lee said. &uot;He was a committed educator and public servant. His loss can’t be measured.&uot;