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Story Archives: New principals -- Anders at Ridgecrest, Alwood at Ferriday Lower Elementary
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|New principals -- Anders at Ridgecrest, Alwood at Ferriday Lower Elementary|
The Concordia Parish School Board filled two principal posts and approved changes in work plans for Phase 1 bathroom renovation work during its regular meeting Thursday night.
Nancy Anders was named principal at Ridgecrest Elementary, while Sheila Alwood was named principal at Ferriday Lower.
Supt. Loretta Blankenstein recommended both for their positions following committee meetings with teacher representatives and central office personnel.
Anders has been teaching for 19 years with experience at Newellton, Huntington, and Ferriday High. She served as curriculum coordinator at Ferriday Upper and assistant principal at Vidalia Lower. She began work at Ridgecrest as assistant principal in October.
"We have a good faculty and good students and I'm excited," she said.
Alwood has worked at Ferriday Lower for 20 years, serving as assistant principal for the past four. She had previously taught one year at Trinity and a half year at Ferriday Junior High and and a half year at Vidalia Upper.
Because of her long tenure at Ferriday Lower, Alwood said she "naturally feels an ownership in the school. We have an awesome task in building an educational foundation for Pre-K to second graders."
In other matters, Business Manager Tom O'Neal said a preconstruction conference for Phase 1 bathroom renovation work was scheduled earlier this week with contractor Wilmar Construction, who was the low bidder at $474,500, and with a Shreveport firm hired to remove asbestos.
Ferriday Lower, Monterey and Ridgecrest were originally included in this work, but O'Neal said material cost escalated by $20,000, requiring a change order. He recommended that Ridgecrest bathrooms be moved to Phase 2 work leaving Ferriday Lower and Monterey in Phase 1.
Phase 1 will include four bathrooms at Ferriday Lower and six student bathrooms and two public bathrooms in the gym at Monterey. O'Neal said the maintenance department will provide a cost estimate on replacing all fixtures and other "aesthetic work" needed at Ridgecrest for the time being.
Meanwhile, if more work is needed, Ridgecrest will be moved into Phase 2 work to renovate the two remaining schools in Ferriday and all schools in Vidalia.
Although the work was originally planned in three phases, O'Neal advised the Board to combine the last two phases due to spiraling material costs. He hopes to let Phase 2 bids by early fall.
O'Neal said about 30 bathrooms parishwide are marked for renovation.
In other business, the Board discussed, but took no action, on holding up to three meetings per year to discuss academics. The matter has been brought up several times by Board member Fred Butcher.
He said the Board "didn't want to run the schools" but wanted to discuss academic accountability with principals and other school personnel.
Board member Ricky Raven said he had some concerns about an open meeting in which principals and other personnel could be challenged on issues related and unrelated to academics.
"While we might want to better inform the public and learn more ourselves, we need to have a specific, organized agenda and we need to have a time limit," said Raven. He suggested a firm decision be withheld until principals can provide input on the matter.
"I'm worried about putting our personnel on the spot in a public meeting," he said.
In other business, the Board:
• Presented a $19,000 check to Principal Neeva Sibley for Monterey High School in recognition of academic accountability achievements by students there. The school will use some of the money for playground equipment.
• Approved the payment of invoices for the month of March totaling $3,031,004.
• Met in executive session for one hour for an expulsion hearing on a student and later voted to uphold the decision of an administrator in the matter.
• Voted to sale eight old model vehicles.
• Voted to hold a committee meeting with contract bus drivers concerning high fuel prices and to discuss related matters.
• Recognized Lydia Wilson as March 2008 employee of the month and DECA winners.
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