Parish school district continues superintendent search

Published 12:13 am Sunday, May 21, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — Eight candidates have applied for the position of Concordia Parish School District superintendent after the school board recently readvertised for the position.

The board began the next steps last week determining which of the candidates to interview and how the interviews will be conducted.

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The position was readvertised after the board determined in April the original advertisement for the position contained language conflicted between the district’s qaulaifications and those required by the Louisiana Department of Education.

Six applicants applied to the original advertisement, but only one candidate was determined to meet the application requirements.

Board attorney Bob Hammonds outlined the steps the board would have to take in the interviewing and hiring process.

Hammond suggested the board select candidates through with a ballot vote for the sake of fairness and to avoid ties.

“Whatever you decide, decide it now, other than in mid-stream,” Hammonds said. “The only thing you want to hear from the applicants was, ‘I thought it was fair.’”

Hammonds said he had been in hundreds of interviews and they typically take around 45 to 50 minutes with nine board members having one question each.

Hammond said the applicants chosen should be informed that most if not all of their interview will be an executive session. He  suggested at least one interview per applicant should be done in public, because the public should be shown some level of transparency.

Hammonds suggested with a nine-member board, there will be nine different things the board in which the board will have an intest.

“Each board member should come armed with their burning question,” Hammonds said. “Take turns around the table asking that question.”

Hammonds therefore suggested that each board member come prepared with two questions for each applicant.

The board decided to review the recommendations and decide at the next board meeting on June 1 which candidates to interview and the process that will be used.

Before the meeting the references of each applicant will also be verified and checked.