Story by staff reporter Nora Drenner
The Natchitoches Parish School Board has approved interviewing 14 candidates for its vacant superintendent position. Current superintendent Dale Skinner leaves in June. The decision to interview all eligible candidates rather than a selection based on resumes followed discussion about the pros and cons of both.
Board member Rhonda Guidroz commented seven was an adequate number and board member Billy Benefield agreed citing interviewing all candidates would require extending the two days previously designated.
Board member Tan’Keia Palmer said she wanted to interview all candidates because they all took the time to apply, and a face to face was needed to get to really know them. Board member Steven Harris agreed commenting it was difficult to judge a person’s character based on a resume only. Board member Reba Phelps stated the board had a responsibility to seek the best superintendent, and as a result she was willing to put in the time.
In the end, the motion to interview all applicants passed via a 7– 4 vote, with Palmer, Harris, Phelps, Beverly Broadway, Emile Metoyer, Katarina Willis and Dorothy McGaskey voting aye, and Guidroz, Benefield, Eugene Garner and Steven Harris voting nay.
Interviews will be held Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 19-21, beginning at 4 p.m. each day in the school board office located at 310 Royal Street in Natchitoches. The board chose to interview applicants in alphabetical order via last name. The public is invited to attend all interviews, however, no comments or questions from the public will be allowed during the interview process.
On Feb. 19 the following will be interviewed: Scott Canady, principal of Saline High School in Jonesboro, La.; Grant Eloi, regional coordinator of Pineville, La.;David Gray, principal in Farmerville, La.; Curtis Green, school improvement coach/program manager in Atlanta, Ga.; and Theresa Hamilton, senior program specialist in Hammond, La.
Feb.20 interviewees are: Terrie Johnson, supervisor of high school curriculum, guidance and title II and IV in Bossier City, La.; Eddie Jones, principal of Florien High School in Florien, La.; Brandy Branigan, director of middle magnet and Montessori schools in Pineville, La.; Paul Nelson, superintendent in Vidalia, La.; and Ted Reeves, superintendent in Farmerville, La.
On Feb. 21, the following will be interviewed: C. Michael Robinson, senior associate in Thibodaux, La.; James Stroder, superintendent in Moab, Utah; Julio Torro, retired principal in Arlington, Tx; and Jesse Winston, federal programs/instructional technology director in Bastrop, La.
While the order of applicants was designated by the NPSB, changes in that order could change due to possible conflicts by candidates.
The board also expects interviews to last one hour with each applicant. Each board member will ask each candidate one question, and candidates can have up to three minutes to answer each question. Additionally,candidates will have 10 minutes at the start of the interview and eight minutes at the conclusion of the interview to make comments. Board member Guidroz will coordinate questions so there are no duplicates.
Following interviews, the board will name finalists during a special call meeting on Tuesday, March 3, at 6:15 p.m. A meet and greet will also likely be scheduled to allow the public to have a face to face with finalists.