From student to principal: Anderson leads VLE

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vidalia — The halls of Vidalia Lower Elementary are no stranger to Charles Anderson — a Vidalia native who attended the school, served as assistant principal for six years and took over as principal last week.

Anderson officially took over the role Dec. 9 after former principal Phyllis Cage resigned because of personal reasons, Superintendent Paul Nelson said.

“We hope our VLE parents will continue to support the school and its staff as they have always done in the past,” Nelson said. “They have an excellent staff there, and Mr. Anderson will do a fine job in finishing out the school year as the acting principal.”

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Since 2007, Anderson has been acting as assistant principal at the school after transferring from Vidalia Junior High School where he taught eight-grade math and coached basketball and football.

But Anderson’s roots at VLE run deeper than his time in the administration.

“I went to school here, I’ve got a son here in the 4-year-old program and this school has just been a big part of my life,” Anderson said. “Just to be able to come back and serve in this capacity means a lot to me.”

Anderson attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1998 and eventually his master’s degree in 2002.

Since returning to Vidalia, Anderson said he’s enjoyed being back in the community in which he was raised.

“Even the principal’s office, my office now, is the same from when I was here,” he said. “I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in there, but it’s all the same.

“We have great parents, a great community and this has just been a great place to call home.”

Vidalia Lower Elementary received a “B” in the state’s annual school performance ratings, and the school was ranked this year as having the most highly effective teachers than any other school in the Concordia Parish School District according to the state’s new evaluation system.

The key to continuing the school’s success, Anderson said, will be to not change much at all.

“We have a great school, great faculty and great students, so there won’t be any huge changes going on,” he said. “We’re going to continue the vision the previous administrators and central office has set for us and make some little tweaks and turns along the way.”

Anderson said he will be counting on his faculty and staff to support the school through the transition as no one will be hired for the vacant assistant principal position.

“I’ve had great support from them in the past, and I know it will continue as we move forward,” Anderson said. “Everyone in this community is extremely supportive of what we’re doing here, and we want to keep that going.”