Idom was one of best in district

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 31, 2015

After reading the Tuesday, July 21, article about the N-Adams School District lawsuit concerning Cindy Idom, I would like to share what I know to be true about Cindy Idom as a principal, since I am a former employee of NASD and was assigned to West as a music teacher for about 20 years.

I served on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools committee, and we spent many hours reviewing statistics as we prepared our report.

Under the Barksdale Reading Grant and Reading First Grant, students were assessed three times a year. Results were reported to the board. Reading skills always showed gain as they transferred to Frazier for first grade.

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She was listed in The Natchez Democrat in 2002 as an Unsung Hero for being an advocate for children in the community. She presented at the Mississippi State Department of Education Conference multiple times about parental involvement.

Here are some other facts about Cindy Idom that you may not know. She provided book donations for the library out of her own pocket — hundreds of her own dollars. She provided personal equipment so that the children could enter the local parades.

When Leadership Natchez visited the school, they always commented that West was the cleanest and safest school. There was active parent involvement — musicals, Grandparent’s Day, Donuts for Dad, Mother’s Day Teas, Turkey Trot and Gallop-A-Thon for raising money for needed supplies for students, workshops for parents addressing literacy, health issues and math computation, to name a few.

While I served as chairman of the Technology Committee, we updated computers in each classroom, and two sets of portable computers were purchased — one for teacher workshops and one for student use. These were of great help with updating teachers in computer skills as well as testing students. Students also used the computers to work on needed skills.

There were many grants written during her tenure at West: a $25,000 Christa McAuliffe grant for technology; several music grants to provide musicals, costumes and equipment; a health grant that provided a tricycle track built for health awareness and obesity in younger children. Matching funds for the tricycle track grant were obtained through Mrs. Idom’s contacts with local businesses.

She also helped to make costumes for the children for musical programs. She gave yards of African print her husband had obtained while working in Africa to make sashes and costumes for the children to wear in Black History Programs.

She helped us to get new stage curtains and risers for the stage. Out of her own pocket, she paid for lunch for the Opera musicians on the day they performed at Braden for West students.

She gave numerous donations out of her personal funds to Jr. Auxiliary addressing school supplies, clothing for needy families, and furniture for fire victims. She took toys to the Shriner’s

Cindy Idom was one of the best-equipped principals in the district. She loved children and worked for their success. She knew how to work with businesses in the community to get them involved in West.

We had about 14 sponsors, and each month she provided some type of gift for each one of them to say thanks. West was one of the schools selected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the Board of Supervisors monthly meetings. She was not one to seek the limelight, but performed much outside the realm of normal school administrators.

She worked under the premise of “Unto those whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). She had been given much in ability and finances, and she felt required to give back much as well.


Bobbye Wynn is chairman of the children’s education program for the Natchez Festival of Music and a former Natchez teacher.