County, city should seek school update

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We applaud Adams County Supervisor David Carter’s suggestion that supervisors meet with the county’s appointees to the Natchez-Adams School Board.

Carter’s suggestion came after the unexpected resignation of Natchez High School Principal Will Smith. Smith was hired at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year to replace veteran educator Fred Butcher, who also left that job abruptly after only a year.

Smith’s credentials are strong, and he made it clear in statements before and shortly after his resignation that his concerns with his job were rooted in conflicts with the district’s administration.

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Carter said discontent among some staffers in the school district is obvious and the supervisors should be updated on the workings of the school district.

The interest in the school district and the role of the county appointees on the school board are only natural for our county supervisors. They are, in fact, the public’s only direct connection to members of the school board. Supervisors learned the hard way with the bankruptcy and subsequent sale of Natchez Regional Medical Center that they are ultimately responsible for decisions of their board appointees, even if they have no direct responsibility for school board decisions.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen should follow suit and seek an update from its school board members, as well.

District superintendent Frederick Hill is only in his second year here. Perhaps the changes he is making are necessary and the reaction to that change is typical. However, city and county leaders who appointed the school board members have every right to be kept informed about the workings of the school board and its confidence or lack thereof in the district’s administration.