Shirley selected new Concordia Parish School District superintendent

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, June 13, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — Vidalia Junior High School Principal Whest Shirley was selected Monday night as the new superintendent of the Concordia Parish School District.

After interviewing three finalists for the position Monday night, the Concordia Parish School Board voted 5-3, with one abstention to name Shirley as the school district’s next leader.

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Finalist Rodney Lloyd garnered three votes and Vidalia Lower Elementary School principal Arlana Davis received no votes on the final ballot.

Board member Cheryl C. Probst abstained from voting, since she is Shirley’s mother in-law.

Shirley said he was excited and humbled to get the chance to serve the people of Concordia Parish.

“They’ve got faith in me,” Shirley said.

After Monday’s interviews, which were conducted in executive session, the board voted by secret ballot for their favorite candidate.

Board president Raymond Riley said the board would now begin the process of finalizing Shirley’s contract.

The board agreed that Shirley’s contract will extend to two years past the board’s term, which would end in 2018.

Loretta Blankenstein will remain interim superintendent until a contract is signed with Shirley, Riley said.

The president said that the board hopes to sign the contract within the next week or so.

Shirley said he would meet with Blankenstein today to discuss the district’s budget, teacher shortages and other issues facing the school district.

Shirley, a Vidalia native, has been at Vidalia Junior High School for 22 years, principal for 10 years. Before that, he was a coach at Adams Christian County School from 1991-95. Shirley then taught social studies and coached at VJHS for approximately 12 years, Shirley said.