- Associated Press - Saturday, September 10, 2016

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - The City of Natchez on Tuesday will begin seeking applications to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Natchez-Adams School District’s Board of Trustees.

A vacancy will open following Benny Wright’s resignation, effective Sept. 30.

“I appreciate his service to the school district,” Mayor Darryl Grennell said Thursday. “He even went through a period where he had a stroke but hung in there and continued to work hard for the school system. I really appreciate his dedication.”

The Natchez Democrat reports (https://bit.ly/2cbUnuR ) Wright announced his resignation last week, after serving on the board for eight years.

Wright said one of the reasons he is resigning is because he believes trustees Amos James, Phillip West and Cynthia Smith make decisions before meetings and vote as a block. He said he believes the alleged actions are leading the school district in the wrong direction and his efforts to stop it are “futile” because votes will always be 3-2.

The board members denied Wright’s allegations.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneux-Mathis said she hopes the board will be able to interview and make a selection for the school board in two to three weeks.

“I would hope we would get an applicant who No. 1 is interested in education, No. 2 would like to see the school district improve to the highest level we can get within the state and No. 3, someone who possibly has children currently in the schools,” Arceneux-Mathis said. “Basically we want someone who has an interest in education, an interest in our children and an interest in seeing Natchez and the Natchez-Adams School District move forward.”

Grennell said he’d also like to see someone who understands the budgeting process and is dedicated to learning.

“Budgeting is a major role that the school board members are involved in,” Grennell said. “According to school board members I have spoken to over the years, they also have to go through a lot of training with the state to get familiar with the process of being a school board member.”

James, the board’s president, said he is willing to work with whomever the city nominates.

“I hope it is someone who believes in the mission of the district and is ready to get to work,” James said. “I hope they can come in and gel with us.”


Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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