Superintendent naming postponed

Published 12:08 am Thursday, June 21, 2012

VIDALIA — Director of Academic Programs Paul Nelson admits he may be counting a lot of sheep for the next four weeks.

Nelson is one of three applicants for Concordia Parish superintendent, and the only applicant to meet all the requirements. He originally thought he’d receive word on the job this week at a specially called meeting today.

However, the school board was forced to delay the announcement because of a technical detail in a district policy.

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The policy states that a superintendent can’t be hired until 30 days after the last advertisement has run in the local newspaper and one metropolitan newspaper.

Superintendent Loretta Blankenstein said the board realized that an advertisement in one of the newspapers had run later than previously scheduled, and today’s meeting would not align with the 30-day waiting period.

The announcement was rescheduled to the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting in order to follow the waiting policy.

While the announcement was postponed, school board members went ahead with interviewing potential candidates Monday evening.

Since two of the three applicants did not meet all the criteria listed for the position, Nelson was the only candidate interviewed.

“The board is concerned about a lot of different things like academic progress, course offerings for students, budget issues and a lot of other topics,” Nelson said. “We talked about all those, and I think it went well.”

After a two-hour interview with the nine-member board, Nelson said he felt confident about the board’s response.

“You never quite know how someone wants you to answer a question they ask you, but I felt like I gave a reasonable answer to all the questions they asked me,” Nelson said. “They each had questions about different things, and those went into other topics, so we covered a lot.”

With the interview process complete, Nelson said he must now play the waiting game until the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting.

“Sometimes waiting around is the worst part, but all I can do is sit back and hope for the best,” Nelson said. “I just hope that the work I’ve done for the district over the past 19 years has been well received.”

The school board will meet at 6 p.m. on July 12 for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting, where an announcement will be made.