SAYING GOODBYE: Butcher eyes ribbon cutting at new high school as he retires

Published 9:00 am Friday, June 23, 2023

NATCHEZ — Natchez Adams School District Superintendent Fred Butcher attended his last regularly scheduled board meeting as the school superintendent this week.

Come July, Deputy Superintendent Zandra McDonald-Green will be stepping up to the role of Interim Superintendent, a role Butcher stepped into seven years ago when he thought that the job would only be temporary, he said.

Among Butcher’s last actions as superintendent during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the NASD Board of Trustees was planning for the July grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new Natchez High School next to the newly-renovated Natchez Middle School campus.

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Apart from some landscaping work scheduled to begin soon, the new school should be ready for students to start the new school year there on Aug. 1, Butcher said.

Tentatively, the district is planning to cut the ribbon during the week of July 10, with the exact time and date of the ceremony still to be determined.

“We’ve got to say what we want and work toward that. Right now, we’re working for that July 10 week to be carved in stone,” Butcher said.

Board members looked over a draft of the program Tuesday, which was for their eyes only as it may be subject to change before the grand opening.

Before Butcher could officially retire and make his exit from NASD, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson surprised him with a token of appreciation, a Key to the City.

It was presented to Butcher during Tuesday’s meeting with his wife and one of his daughters watching over Zoom.

“The City of Natchez could not exist without a good relationship with this board and this school district,” Gibson said to the board. “From the very day I became mayor, your superintendent Mr. Fred Butcher has made that relationship easy. I’ve enjoyed working with him and also working with all of you during a time that has been challenging, but together I think we have accomplished much. I’ll never forget being here (in the board room) when it was announced that the school district had achieved a B rating. I’ll never forget the various phone calls that I’ve received from Mr. Butcher giving me good news. I’ll never forget being there to break ground on the new high school, and I can’t wait to be there when the ribbon is cut on that beautiful facility.”