The Natchitoches Parish School Board held a public forum Tuesday evening, Nov. 19, to gather input from parents, faculty, and community stakeholders regarding the 2020 Superintendent Search.
The board members started the forum off by stating that community buy-in is essential to make the search successful. The audience was small, around 40 people. The event was held at the NSU Middle Lab Auditorium, which seats 100-150 people. A larger turnout was anticipated, but one audience member said some parents can’t make events like the public forum because they don’t have the time in between work, errands, and taking care of their families.
Board members asked that anyone unable to attend the event reach out to them personally to share any input they have regarding the qualifications or characteristics they’d like the next superintendent to posses.
District 1 – Rhonda Guidroz: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2 – Tan’Keia Palmer email@example.com
District 3 – Dorothy McGaskey firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4 – Billy Benefield Jr. email@example.com
District 5 – Katrina Willis: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 6 – Reba Phelps email@example.com
District 7 – Eugene Garner: Eugean.Garner@nat.k12.la.us
District 8 – Steven Harris: Steven.Harris@nat.k12.la.us
District 9 – Beverly Broadway firstname.lastname@example.org
District 10 – Russell E. Danzy: email@example.com
District 11 – Emile Metoyer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner of Bolton Realty Janice Bolton was the first to step up to the microphone.
“When clients come to town, the schools their children will go to is important to them,” she said. “I grew up here, I love this town, and I want to help.”
The overall consensus was that the new superintendent should be transparent, approachable, visible and hands on within the community and the schools, innovative and inspirational, committed to improving the school system, have the certification as well as the qualifications, inclusive, focused on increasing parental involvement, interested in collaborating with Northwestern State University, and be supportive and positive with the faculty and staff. He or she also needs to have a global view of education with 21st Century skills.
Chamber President Laura Lyles was unable to attend, but sent a representative to speak on her behalf. The A+ Coalition, an education initiative of the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce, formed a Community Advisory Committee to assist the School Board in its search. It has 25 volunteers from various areas of the community on it. They met for the first time on Nov. 15. The committee asked that the Board either delay its December meeting by a week, or delay advertising for the superintendent position until January. This will give the committee ample time to research and present the Board with information that will help them in their decision making process as they move forward with their search. The Board said it would take these requests under advisement.