Concordia school district selects 3 candidates for final interviews

Published 12:09 am Friday, June 9, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — The Concordia Parish School Board narrowed its list of district superintendent applicants Thursday night to three principals — each with local connections.

Vidalia Junior High School principal Robert Whestley Shirley, Vidalia Lower Elementary School principal Arlana Davis and Monroe, La., middle school principal Rodney Lloyd were selected from the eight people who applied for the position. Seven of the candidates interviewed for the position earlier this week.

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The board will interview the three candidates Monday and plans to vote for the district’s new superintendent afterward.

The nine school board members selected the candidates by secret ballot Thursday. Each member voted for three candidates, but had the right to abstain. After the ballots were counted, Lloyd led with eight votes. Davis and Shirley each garnered seven votes.

Personnel committee chairwoman Mary H. Campbell said she was pleased with the three chosen candidates from Monday’s interviews.

“I think they were strong candidates. They interviewed very well,” she said. “Their presentations were great, and what they said they had to offer the system.”

Interim superintendent Loretta Blankenstein confirmed that all three candidates have local connections.

“(Davis and Shirley) are from Concordia Parish. Lloyd is originally from Ferriday,” Blankenstein said.

Blankenstein said Shirley is originally from Vidalia and has been a principal for more than 15 years.

Davis is from Ferriday and has been a principal at Ferriday High School prior to her position at Vidalia Lower Elementary, Blankenstein said.

The Ouachita School District Facebook page said Rodney Lloyd is the principal of Riser Middle School in Monroe. He was selected as principal of the year for the school district in 2015.

The interviews will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The board plans to discuss the candidates in executive session and vote for the district’s next superintendent after the interviews.