Parish school board honors retiring members for service
VIDALIA — Three Concordia Parish School Board members were honored for their service earlier this month during their last board meeting.
Superintendent Paul Nelson presented board members Darlene Baker, Charles Minor and Gary Parnham Sr. with service awards for their leadership, commitment and dedicated service while serving on the school board.
The three school board members did not seek re-election to new terms during elections this fall.
Baker served for eight years, Minor for four years and Parnham Sr. for 12 years, including more than half of those as board president.
Nelson said he appreciated the board member’s service to the school system, especially during “some of the most challenging times that we have had in our board’s history.”
Nelson described the board members as being instrumental throughout several changes in the district, including the teacher evaluation system, curriculum and accountability system.
“These three board members have been strong supporters of our schools and students and have been instrumental in our push to bring technology into our schools,” Nelson said. “They have been great public servants and will be truly missed.”
Parnham, who served for 25 years as principal throughout the district, said he appreciated the support of the Concordia Parish residents during his time on the board and in the district.
“The people of the parish have always been good to me and really been strong supporters of the schools,” Parnham said. “I just felt like at 71 years old, I needed to give some of people a little younger than me a chance to serve.”
Parnham said he felt like the board had managed to accomplish a great deal during his time serving, including adding a weight room at Vidalia high School, additional buildings and classrooms at several parish schools and replacing the roofs on nearly all the buildings.
“I think we’ve done a lot of positive things, and that’s only because we’ve had such strong support of the people,” Parnham said. “I was just honored that the people of Vidalia allowed me to serve them.”
Minor and Baker were unavailable for comment.