Concordia school district may re-advertise for superintendent

Published 12:59 am Saturday, April 15, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — The Concordia Parish School Board set a date Thursday to clarify the superintendent hiring policy.

The board began the advertising process approximately a month ago when interim superintendent Loretta Blankenstein announced her retirement.

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The board’s attorney Bob Hammonds said just one candidate has qualified for the position because the qualifications in the minutes of a prior board meeting and recent advertisements were not the same as in the board’s policy.

“My recommendation for the board is that you put together one final set and re-advertise that set so that people who are looking at the list will be able to determine immediately by looking at the list if they qualify or don’t qualify,” Hammonds said.

Hammonds said that some qualifications were not met by candidates because of the confusion. One requirement stated a candidate needs five years as a principal or higher unless the board determines an equivalent.

“One of the applicants had two years as an assistant principal and four years as a principal,” Hammonds said. “In the minds of the board, that would be more than five years of administrative experience, but in your own policy, it says principal or higher. So in your own policy that person wouldn’t meet the qualifications for the position.”

At the behest of Hammonds, board member Raymond T. Riley suggested any new advertisements state the list of qualifications can be found on the schoolboard website,

“Our qualifications are higher than what the state’s are,” Riley said. “Because we’ve got two sets advertised and a different one online, we’re in jeopardy of confusing people.”

Hammonds said the board can suspend a policy by a two-thirds vote to adopt changes at any time.

Board member Ricky Raven said the board members needed to find out what they failed at last time, and make a decision before they do anything else.

Hammonds said the board should not take more than 15 days to re-advertise their qualifications and make background checks for all candidates applying before the next selection process.

Board member Mary H. Campbell said if the board does not follow the policy then someone will call them out on it.

Riley moved that the board have a meeting on April 24 to review the superintendent’s qualifications and re-advertise for the position, which passed with a unanimous vote.

In other news:

-The Vidalia High School DECA team finalists were given awards for a recent competition. Members who were honored were Qur’an Carmen, Leandria Collins, Tommy Ngo, Caylen Roberts and Neashion Davis as advisor.

The individual students who won awards were Devin Carter who placed second in quick service restaurant management and third in team buying and merchandising, Logan Geravis who placed first in business finance and third in team buying and merchandising and LaNya Jones who placed third in business finance.

The team competed at the DECA State Conference in Baton Rouge in early March.