Peterman resigning superintendent post

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

VIDALIA &045; When he applied for the post of Concordia Parish school superintendent, Dr. Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman said he would not take his responsibilities lightly if he was chosen.

And at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, he made it clear that his decision to resign as superintendent effective June 30 wasn’t something he took lightly, either.

Peterman’s decision to ask the board to release him from the last year of his contract was made &uot;in the best interest of the (district) and my own health considerations,&uot; Peterman said in a letter he read at the meeting’s end.

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The decision to resign was only made through much prayer and consultation, said Peterman, who has battled cancer for months.

He went on to thank a school board he said has been a source of inspiration and strength to him. &uot;I am genuinely appreciative for all the positive guidance and direction I have received,&uot; Peterman said.

Peterman has had a long history with the Concordia Parish School District.

After graduating from Mississippi State University and teaching in a handful of other systems from West Point to New Orleans, he took a job as a seventh-grade science teacher in Ferriday.

He then moved on to serve as an eighth-grade physical education teacher and coach in Ferriday, a counselor at Monterey High, and principal at Ridgecrest Elementary and Monterey High.

Then, at the district’s central office in Vidalia, he served as supervisor of curriculum and instruction and assistant superintendent before being hired by the board in 1999 as superintendent.

Peterman said the board has a history of working together to achieve the district’s goals.

&uot;We are on sound footing in all areas and have many new projects which are ongoing,&uot; he said. &uot;I attribute this to each member’s concern for the welfare of our students, our employees and our facilities.&uot;

But Peterman, who has worked for the system for 27 years, said those who think his involvement with the school system is through are mistaken.

That’s because he has pledged his support to the district in making the transition to new leadership a smooth one.

But while they ultimately voted to accept Peterman’s resignation, members of the school board made it clear they do not want him to leave as superintendent.

&uot;I want to hold him here another year,&uot; board member Ricky Raven said with a smile.

&uot;Our the last four years, we’ve seen tremendous growth,&uot; the Rev. Johnny Brown, also a school board member, added.

In the end, Peterman got a standing ovation from all who attended Tuesday’s meeting &045; and returned the praise with a broad smile.

&uot;I ask God’s richest blessings upon you, our students and our employees as we continue to provide quality education in our community,&uot; Peterman said.