School Board makes decisions for upcoming superintendent search

The Natchitoches Parish School Board held lengthy meetings on Tuesday and Thursday evening this week, Dec. 3 and 5. The majority of the talk revolved around making decisions regarding the board’s search for a new superintendent, which they plan to hire for the 2020-2021 school year.

To help them with some of the decision making, Chamber President Laura Lyles formed a Community Advisory Committee with over 20 volunteers from throughout Natchitoches. The committee put out a survey asking residents to give their anonymous input on different factors concerning what the School Board should look for in potential candidates.

There were 873 electronic responses, plus several hard copies that were turned in. Of these, 94% were Natchitoches Parish residents and 48% have children currently enrolled in the school district. There were also 22 students that completed the survey and 20% of respondents were School Board employees.

Of all the responses, 87% asked that the salary offered for the position be comparable to other districts of similar size. The majority of respondents want the new superintendent to have experience with personnel and budgeting. They want someone with integrity, commitment to the community, and is a good team builder. The leadership skills they’re looking for are problem solving, working with diverse groups of people, oral communication and strategic thinking.

The School Board voted to begin advertising on Dec. 10 with an application deadline of Feb. 7. They’ll retrieve applications from a dedicated post office box on Feb. 10. The Board approved the salary range to be set at $120,000-145,000 (Emile Metoyer voted in opposition of this).

Once the board has the applications in hand it will have to decide how many applicants to interview, choose who to interview, and the order in which the interviews will take place.

Other agenda items included:

Receive update on Parish 4-H activities

Recognize Lakeview Football Program

Approve bids for processed and frozen foods for use in the child nutrition program during Jan. 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020

Approve bids for paper and cleaning supplies for use in the child nutrition program during the period of Jan. 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020

Approve board meeting calendar for 2020

16 thoughts on “School Board makes decisions for upcoming superintendent search

  1. It is interesting that there are many who have questions, thoughts or complaints. Where were the people when the board had a community meeting in November for voicing what they would like the board to consider in the search? There were maybe 20 people there. I believe they should hire an independent search firm however handing over control to someone else to make decisions requires a lot of trust.

    • We been through this before! I served on a similar committee looking for ways to save money. We had 14 suggestions on ways to use tax dollars wisely. Not one was ever considered and never published! When in a board meeting I asked if the board has any intentions of using our suggestions. I was meet with dead silence! First recommendation, have Legslative Auditor do an audit saving 100,000$. Investigate the cost over run of 1.5 million dollars on renovation of the junior high. Investigation of the board refusing the lowest bid by CP-Tel for internet services! Why the board went with a higher bid from Monroe costing the system more. It was strange to us the tech support personnel were former employees from Monroe and a personal friend to the one time fiance director. Why are students crossing parish boundaries, taking with them hundreds of thousands of dollars and violating federal mandates. Why the board has not developed, in writing , a hiring policy when required to do so by the State Board of Education These and other recommendations were never considered!

      Even now as you noticed the board still refuses to develop a offical hiring policy! Instead opting to refer to state credentials which are the minimum qualifications set by the state That meeting was to leave the impression with the community that they matter! They don’t!

      The board has cost the system hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits of our money manipulating the system.

  2. I would like to know when the community survey was held. I live in this community and never had any knowledge of such survey.

  3. With the school board members running this whole superintendent search is a recipe for disaster. Each one probably has their own agenda in who they want.They should have used a search firm to find the best applicant possible. I can see the good ole boy system at work here. I don’t have the confidence that the best person will be selected.

    • Absolutely true! Their own agenda! How is it that board members can have family members given positions while on they serve on the board? This particular board members wife got a administrative position under his tenure, had scores transferred to her school to keep it from being an F score, and now in Central Office! Teachers given positions and awards they totally didnt deserve! Large groups of students underserved to give preference to other students! Administrators given positions after being caught cheating! Thousands of taxpayers dollars wasted in order to control the system for political influence!

  4. Get out while you can….the insanity that will ensue from this process will be enlightening and reveling for what is in Natchitoches future.

  5. If a community survey will determine the qualifications of the new Superintendent, then maybe those participants!



  6. Pay: is a superintendent really worth twice what many of our teachers make? Who taught a superintendent? A teacher of course. A teacher who may or may not have as many course hours as said person being considered for the position.
    Experience: not just as a coach who may or may not have had only teaching experience of a ball team! Experience from within the trenches. Experience of dealing with student diversities, especially with our special ed students. Personally, it does not matter to me what race the new superintendent might be as long as he or she has legit experience TEACHING all students and does not give in to good ole boy scenarios. He or she should be knowledgeable with today’s technology and not beholden to a secretary to show him how to use a computer.

    There are so many attributes necessary to fill this position, but to me, the love for learning, the love for the teachers and students and the passion it takes to really lead a school district are what’s most important.

    Ask the people you interview if they have a WHY and let them tell you what their WHY might be. If it is for a huge salary or for prestige, go searching again. While salary and prestige is not wrong, first and foremost their WHY should be full of passion for the job they will be taking.

    • You are so right! Without a way to measure achievement this is all political! Tell me why Natchitoches Parish is the only system in the state without a written hiring policy? Take a look at promoting in the parish and you can see the results!

    • He is glad to be anywhere He really is nice guy but has no knowledge of educational issues . When in his situation you are relegated to depend on others opinions .

  7. Here we go again. Broad expectations and nothing specific! This is a generic job description that allows the board to hire whomever they wish with no accountability! I noticed diversity was thrown in there to give the impression that it will be fair and meets federal mandates Here’s how it will break down: right along racial lines.

    Why wasn’t there a quantitative model developed? Candidates should be judged on accomplishments not personality!

    Integrity? How will you measure that? This from board members who have abused their positions for personal reasons!

    Go back in session and develop a serious fact based job description! That’s why you were put there! For once take the politics out of the process and hire a qualified superintendent that will well serve this parish! Natchitoches parish is considered one of the two worst educational systems in the state! You have opportunity to change that ranking if you will.

    As far as salary is concerned why don’t you pay them based on successful experience, academic achieve, etc rather than what other Superintendents get.

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