Parish schools making administrative changes

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish School District has filled its vacant administrative positions, including hiring a principal at Monterey High School.

Interim Superintendent Loretta Blankenstein said the district still needs to hire seven teachers, noting most of the vacancies are at Ferriday High and Ferriday Junior High schools.

Neeva Sibley, who retired as the Monterey principal in 2009, will replace Ralph Simmons on an interim level at Monterey High School.

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“Mrs. Sibley has experience as a math teacher and as an administrator at Monterey High School,” Blankenstein said. “She has agreed to help us get the year started off in a positive direction while we advertise and interview for the position at Monterey.”

Simmons is retiring and Blankenstein said she wished him success in his future goals. Simmons said he did not wish to elaborate on why he has decided to retire now.

“I’d like to thank the faculty, staff, the students, parents and the community for all of their support over the last three years,” he said.

Melissa Doughty will move from Ferriday Upper Elementary School to become the assistant principal at Monterey.

“Mrs. Doughty has primarily worked with elementary schools in her career,” Blankenstein said. “While she will be working with the high school as well, part of her focus will be in helping the elementary level at Monterey.

“She is looking forward to using her experience to assist with the learning opportunities there.”

Liz Walker will move from assistant principal at Vidalia High School to assistant principal at Ferriday Upper Elementary School.

“Most of Mrs. Walker’s teaching career has been in the area of elementary education,” Blankenstein said. “At Ferriday Upper, she will be able to use her experience to help solidify the administrative team and work toward meeting the goals that have been established for Ferriday Upper.”

Replacing Walker at Vidalia High School on an interim level will be Bernie Cooley, a coach and physical education teacher at Vidalia Junior High School.

“He is a graduate of Vidalia High School and has great relationships with the students and the community,” Blankenstein said. “We believe together with Mrs. (Jana) Lincecum, they will ensure the future success of Vidalia High School.”

With the exception of Monterey High School, Blankenstein said she was happy to have returning principals at the other schools.

“Stability is good for schools because the students, parents and faculty are aware of the procedures and rules and it can make for an easier transition into the new school year,” she said. “We hope these moves will aid in providing stability and in getting the students off to a good start.”

Blankenstein said Ferriday High School’s band director Bobby Key left the district to take a job in his hometown of Monroe, La. Principal Joyce Russ has scheduled interviews for the position, and Blankenstein said she hoped they’d make a hire soon.

For the math teacher positions open at Vidalia High School and Monterey High School, Blankenstein said she expected hires to be made soon.

The district is still looking for a science teacher at Ferriday High School. At Ferriday Junior High School, Blankenstein said the district is looking to hire two English language teachers and a social studies teacher.