Just Talkin’ for Sept. 21, 2019

Dale Skinner

JT chatted with Supt. of Schools Dale Skinner Thursday to learn that he plans to retire June 30 of 2020.

“It’s time,” he said.

Skinner will end a two-year extension of his contract that was granted by the board in 2018. He was hired in May of 2014 after a stint as principal at Natchitoches Central High School. Skinner has done battle with some of the school board members but there’s never been doubt in JT’s mind that he always had the welfare of the students as his primary goal.

He says the board that took over in January has been great to work with and JT attributes that to the presence of six women on the board! That’s just a personal observation.

Skinner cites his biggest disappointment as being the Natchitoches Voters and Civic League taking a stance against a bond issue to improve City schools.

He believes the League’s opposition to the bond issue cost a delay of two years and $3 million increase in construction costs. It eventually passed and has resulted in an upgrade of physical facilities that benefits the students, faculty and employees. What pleases him the most are the hard work and dedication of the teachers and staff who are always working for the students.

JT has been around long enough to see the political battle resulting in the choice of two superintendents and is glad the sitting school board has taken action to prevent that in the future. The board has developed a protocol that outlines the next selection process and includes such items as salary, goals and expectations for a new superintendent.

Hopefully the transition will be a peaceful one that all the board members can embrace.