Alcorn administrator, educator named to school board

Published 12:11 am Friday, February 28, 2014

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors appointed an Alcorn State University administrator to the Natchez-Adams County School District’s board of trustees Thursday.



After conducting closed-door interviews with Ruth Nichols, Alcorn’s assistant vice president for educational and
community partnerships, and Linda McMurtry, a long-time educator and former school administrator, the supervisors appointed Nichols to replace outgoing school board member Wayne Barnett, whose term expired this month.

“We had good interviews, and it was very, very, very difficult to make a selection because both were excellent, potential members of the school board and both were passionate about serving on the school board,” Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said.

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Supervisor Angela Hutchins said she wished the board could have appointed both applicants.

In addition to her leadership roles at secondary learning institutions, Nichols also has experience teaching in local schools.

In other news:

• The supervisors voted to reappoint Dr. Jennifer Russ to Natchez Regional Medical Center’s board of trustees.

Russ’ term expired this month, and she had asked to be reappointed.

Though some supervisors had expressed interest in placing a new member on the hospital’s board in light of NRMC’s recent decision to declare bankruptcy, the vote to reappoint Russ was unanimous.

Supervisor David Carter said while he might like to see new members on the board, Russ was not one he wanted to replace.

“With the financial crisis, it is more important than ever that critical hospital needs are met, and she is the only one on that board who works there and knows those needs,” he said. “She is one of the strongest (members) we have on (the board), and she knows what needs to be done to keep patient care at a high level.”

The hospital trustees are community volunteers appointed by the board of supervisors for three years.

• The supervisors voted to switch health care plans for county employees.

The plan the board adopted, provided by United Healthcare, is similar to what county employees receive from Blue Cross Blue Shield, County Administrator Joe Murray said.

However, the switch will save the county approximately $110,000 annually, lowering the total cost of the plan from $1.44 million to $1.34 million, Murray said.

• The supervisors adopted a resolution expressing appreciation for outgoing Natchez Inc. Projects Director Chris Hinton, who has taken a job in Jackson.

The resolution will declare Hinton an honorary resident of Adams County, board attorney Scott Slover said.