story by Staff Reporter Nora Drenner
The Natchitoches Parish School Board is one step closer in its search for a new superintendent. During the board’s regular meeting on Feb. 6 a timeline was approved for the next steps in superintendent selection. Current superintendent Dale Skinner leaves the district in June.
On Monday, Feb. 10, board president Billy Benefield and vice-president Rhonda Guidroz will travel to the post office box to pick up applications. The two will not open those applications; instead they will take the closed envelopes to the NPSB office and give them to NPSB HR director Mr. Hammonds and Desoto Parish School Board HR director Ms. Gamble for opening and preparation. Board members will pick up applications at the NPSB office after 4 p.m. on that day.
The following day, Tuesday, Feb. 11, the public can trek to the school board office located at 310 Royal Street during regular business hours to view all applications, with any personal information about applicants removed. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Thursday, Feb. 13, a special called meeting will be held at 5 p.m. At the time, the board will determine the number of applicants to be interviewed, what dates to conduct interviews, who will be interviewed, the order of those interviewed, a tie breaker process if needed, and how many rounds of interviews to conduct.
The board has tentatively set Feb. 19-20 for interviews with those dates confirmed during the Feb. 13 meeting. Additionally, the Feb. 13 meeting and subsequent interviews are open to the public. The public will not be able to ask candidates questions during the interview process, however, they are invited to submit questions to board members prior to the start of interviews. The board also anticipates initial interviews to last one hour with each candidate and it is expected that each board member will ask each candidate two questions. Board member Guidroz will coordinate questions so there are no duplicates.
At the conclusion of interviews, the board will vote to determine the number of final candidates, select finalists, determine the order of finalist interviews, set a tie breaker process, if needed, and select teams to conduct reference checks.
On Tuesday, March 3, following its regular committee meeting, another special call meeting will take place at 6: 5 p.m. to determine the date of any final interviews. Once finalists are selected, the board will likely host a meet and greet.
The board is also working on tweaking its current superintendent contract so that it aligns with current goals and objectives. On the table for consideration is a contract that includes milestones for achievement, enhanced visibility with all schools within the district, participation in local civic clubs and organizations and active affiliation with NSU. Also noted was that some language in the current district contract is outdated.