Search for New School Board Superintendent is Underway

By Ricky LaCour

At the Natchitoches Parish School Board’s Committee meeting Tuesday, night, Feb. 4, board member Billy Benefield opened up a discussion of the process over the next few months in interviewing and selecting the right candidate for the Superintendent position, which will become vacant in June due to Dale Skinner’s resignation.

Board members discussed the proposed dates of the selection process, the objectives, language, and changes they would like to consider for the new superintendent’s contract, and the duties, obligations and goals they would like to be made clear moving forward with their selection.

Although the interviewing will be open to the public, the public will not be allowed to ask questions during the interview process. However, Benefield encourages parents and the general public to submit questions to the school board prior to the date of the interview. He assures that all questions will be considered and addressed.

NPSB Superintendent Selection Proposed Dates

February 10 – President and Vice President will pick up application from P.O. Box. Return applications to NPSB Office to Mr. Hammonds and Ms. Gamble. Board Members will then have access to confidential copies by 4pm at the NSPB for consideration.

February 11 – The list of applicants will be made available to the public at the school board office during business hours

February 13 – Special Meeting – Vote to decide:

*Number of applications to be interviewed

*What date(s)

*Who will be interviewed

*The order they will be interviewed

*Tie Breaker Process

*How many levels/rounds of interviews

February 19 – Interviews

February 20 – Interviews. At the conclusion of the interviews, the Board will vote to:

*Determine the number of final candidates

*Select the finalist

*The order they will be interviewed

*Tie Breaker Process

*Reference checks teams

March 3 – After the regular committee meeting The Board will go into a Special Call Meeting to determine:

*Date of the final interviews


8 thoughts on “Search for New School Board Superintendent is Underway

  1. It appears that the process has been well thought out! Let’s hope the board can select a superintendent who is highly qualified, THIS TIME!! One more decision like the last two will be devastating! I have two concerns about the interview process! One, is why aren’t the resumes’ published in the paper for public view? Secondly, why will the public be denied the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates? The board invited public input by submitting questions for consideration. Even now they are still asking for input from the public! How do we know if our questions will be selected? After receiving those questions, I noticed none of them were chosen! The board chose to only use the minimum requirements required by the State Department of Education! This is hardly transparent! Also, why won’t the board develop a quantitative procedure for evaluating the candidates to ensure fairness? After the selection is made then publish the questions and scores of each candidate!
    I’m sure this post will be ignored just as our questions were!
    For God’s sake don’t screw this up again! Make this selection a unanimous decision by the board to ensure the whole community is represented!

    • I think it’s pretty transparent that this board isn’t willing to put it the work to find a highly qualified candidate.

      The board doesn’t want any real public input. They want to hire someone they can easily manipulate. I don’t know about Mr. Duke, but Mr. Skinner rose to the superintendent’s job after being principal at NCHS. What do you want to bet our next superintendent will be local, too?

      Do the same people on the school board serve on the parish council, too? They all seem to have the same ol’ boy’s network mentality…

    • I’d bet that the reason they are using the minimum requirements is that it’s a “safe” way to avoid legal and public relations entanglements. Once a public body starts adding to the requirements they open themselves to charges by the loud mouths in the Parish of trying to keep certain candidates from applying. Blame those on the Board that have to turn every issue into some grand conspiracy and those that won’t stand up to the BS..

      • Maybe so or not, Eagle! Not having a consistent procedure is why one candidate sued the board! A coincidence I’m sure, the board member who violated the procedure cost the system over 150k! And his wife was promoted to an administrative position: twice! Probably just a coincidence!
        It is my understanding that the parish does not have, in writing, parish policy for employment required by the state: the only parish in the state that doesn’t!

    • Hey “Concerned Parent”, I wouldn’t worry too much about “transparency” and “fairness” as those are characteristics in the eye of the beholder and my bet, based on history, is that they still manage to piss off half the people with any choice they make. I’d also bet if they gave everyone 3 minutes to ask each candidate questions many would still complain that there is no transparency.

      Sadly the biggest problem with this town is that there are too many “experts” that expect others to do the dirty work but God forbid we expect employees to do their jobs, fire the ones that don’t and get rid of students that won’t take their responsibility seriously.

      • I think the idea of a unanimous decision is an excellent idea! I don’t think it’s too much to expect 11 people to make a decision that represents the entire parish. Prior to now, the decisions have been made behind closed doors without the input of half of the board! A unanimous decision guarantees fairness for the entire parish! I am aware of the manipulation of board hiring policies that have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars! I can only assume Victor, that you are of the opinion, that a simple majority all that is required! Every board member represents not just their districts but the entire parish! Their salaries are paid by all of the citizens of the parish, not just their districts!
        Fairness is in the eye of the beholder? Really? Fairness is not some subjective matter dependent on personal whims! To suggest otherwise is a distortion of the very principle itself! Everyone wants to be treated fairly, especially when it comes to their children!

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