Troutman hopes to give teachers voice on board

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

NATCHEZ — When David Troutman was asked to join the Natchez-Adams County School District Board of Trustees, he thought it would be a good opportunity to bring an additional teacher’s voice to the board.

Thus, one of Troutman’s goals is to get teachers more involved in the administrative decisions.

“There is one thing that is the same in every successful district,” Troutman said. “Teachers are involved in the planning and implementation. They feel like real stake holders in the district.”

“(The Concordia Parish School District) is my fifth district (in which to teach), and I have never felt like I was part of the planning or implementation.”

Troutman was appointed last month by the Natchez Board of Aldermen. He replaced school board Chairman Norris Edney.

Another goal for Troutman is for the district to offer more honors courses.

“We are not in competition with the Woodville public school or Cathedral School; we are in competition with China and India whose students are clamoring to come here to be engineers and computer scientists,” he said. “We have to get them ready for the entire world.”

Troutman said many in the community seem to blame the children, but he didn’t see the students as the problem.

“I am still having a ball teaching,” he said. “I still look forward to going to school every day, and I don’t want to do anything else.”

The other problem Troutman said he hears in the community is that the Natchez schools have not recovered from decisions made 10 or 20 years ago.

“My response is, ‘get over it,’” he said. “It has changed, and we have got to deal with what we have now.”

Troutman said he was impressed with his first board meeting, which he attended this month.

“I hope I can make an impact in education,” he said.

Troutman and his wife, Elizabeth, are not natives of the Miss-Lou, but regularly traveled through the area from Texas to Florida to visit Elizabeth’s parents.

Approximately eight years ago, when the Troutmans were looking for a place in a smaller town closer to Florida, Natchez was one of their first choices.

“We moved here on sort of an adventure,” Troutman said. “Austin was getting too big and we moved here sort of on a whim, but I’m having an absolute ball living in the Miss-Lou.”

Troutman said, as a math teacher who also had experience with special education and music, he wasn’t worried about finding a job. He worked in the Natchez-Adams School District for six years and has been teaching at Vidalia High School for about two years.