Morris chosen to be next superintendent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 26, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Dr. Anthony Lee Morris, director of personnel for the South Panola School District and former Natchez High principal, will be the next superintendent of the Natchez-Adams School District.

&uot;I’ve always been excited about the resources this district has, and I’m excited to be working with this school board,&uot; Morris said. &uot;I’m excited to have this opportunity.&uot;

Although the school board will not vote to ratify Morris’ contract until its April meeting, board members unanimously agreed Friday to hire Morris, Edney said. Morris accepted the job Monday.

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&uot;His training, his experience, his background with the school system made him the choice,&uot; said school board President Dr. Norris Edney.

Edney would not divulge how much Morris will be paid, saying that amount will be made public after the contract is April.

Morris will officially start work July 1 but plans to visit Natchez between now and then get more familiar with the system and to introduce himself to school and community leaders.

&uot;The first I have to do is just assess where we are, looking at job descriptions, but not to change anything initially,&uot; Morris said.

&uot;I’ll make changes where needed, but I don’t intend to come in making a whole bunch of them.&uot;

Morris served as principal of Natchez High School from 1994 to 1997.

&uot;This (superintendent’s) positions would be the next logical step for me. Plus, I enjoyed my stay when I was in Natchez,&uot; Morris said in an interview last month.

&uot;I always thought the area was full of resources and that if we all align Š Natchez could be one of the leading districts in the state.&uot;

&uot;He shares our views on where the system should be,&uot; Edney said.

Morris has said that one of his first priorities would be to meet or exceed state accountability goals.

He has also said that he will meet with teachers and community stakeholders to identify and address barriers to achieving those goals.

One major challenge is the announced closing of International Paper’s Natchez mill, which will cost the district $1.417 million in annual tax revenues.

&uot;It’s also going to have a tremendous impact on individual families, which is my first concern,&uot; Morris said.

&uot;We need to come together as a district and a total community to try and replace that void as quickly as we can.&uot;