School board losing member; City appointed position coming open next month

Published 12:13 am Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NATCHEZA new face will soon join the Natchez-Adams School Board after the board’s vice president announced Monday he would not seek reappointment.

Natchez-Adams School District Board of Trustee member and vice president David Troutman said after serving on the board for five years, it was time for someone else to join the board.

The school board is comprised of five members — three appointed by the Natchez Board of Aldermen and two appointed by the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

Troutman is one of the city’s appointees. Troutman said he told Natchez Mayor Butch Brown and aldermen of his decision, which he said was made because of personal reasons.

“There’s no antagonism toward the board, administration or anything like that,” Troutman said. “When I got on the board, I wanted to be a voice for active teachers. I think I’ve been able to do that for the last five years.

“But I’m not an active teacher now, so that’s also part of the reason.”

Troutman taught at Vidalia High School throughout his term on the school board and retired last year after a 34-year teaching career, — six in Louisiana, six in Mississippi, 22 in Texas and six in Indiana.

During his time on the board, Troutman went through the exit of former Superintendent Anthony Morris, the hiring process for current Superintendent Frederick Hill and a number of other issues in the district, including budget woes, the opening of a magnet school and restructuring of the middle and high schools.

“I think over the past five years with the support of the rest of the board, I think we’ve got the district headed in the right direction,” Troutman said. “I just wanted to get that part of my life past and move on to other things.”

Board President Tim Blalock said the knowledge and experience Troutman brought to the table would be missed.

“His insight as a teacher — and at the time a practicing teacher — always kind of counterpoised the other insights from board members and really gave us the whole spectrum of viewpoints,” Blalock said. “It was nice not to just have the management viewpoint when you were talking about issues, but to have a guy who was actually in the trenches, so to speak.

“When he would back something, I felt like it gave it a little more legitimacy knowing that he’s seen this work on the ground.”

Blalock said he understands Troutman’s decision to not serve on the board again and looks forward to welcoming a new member to the board.

“Hopefully we can get another person with that same sort of insight, but at the end of the day, I would like any good, upstanding person who wants to make Natchez a better place,” Blalock said. “Anyone who wants to make a difference and is open minding and willing to hear other opinions on the board would be a great addition.”

Troutman’s term expires at the end of February. Troutman said he is collecting a list of names of potential replacements he will deliver to the board of aldermen in the coming weeks.