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New superintendent for Lincoln Parish Schools chosen

Lincoln Parish School Board
Lincoln Parish School Board(Source: KNOE)
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 4:50 PM CDT
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LINCOLN PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The Lincoln Parish School Board has chosen a new superintendent.

Ricky Durrett was chosen over Byron Lyons during a special session Wednesday with a 7-5 vote.

The school district had to call an emergency meeting after the initial vote Monday ended in a 6-6 tie.

Durrett said he’s honored and excited for this new opportunity.

“I want to hit the ground running and get in our schools with our principals and make sure they have a voice in where we go from here, and what we need to do to help them and support them and their teachers and just making sure our students get the opportunities they need,” Durrett said.

Durrett has spent more than 30 years in the Lincoln Parish School system, where he was a former principal and coach at Simsboro and Ruston High School.

Retiring Superintendent Mike Milstead said he’s confident in Durrett’s ability to take on the job.

“Sometimes it takes a while for a person to get everybody’s trust, but due to the confidence that I have in him, and I’m sure these board members and even the ones that did not vote for him, they will, they will develop confidence in him,” Durrett said.

One of the first things Durrett said he will address is issues about race within the school district.

He plans to form a diversity committee between parents, school board members and administrators to tackle to those problems head on.

“We want to make it a working group of eight to ten people where we can actually get around the table and come up with real solutions and real answers to them,” Durrett said. “We want to work with them in the hiring of teachers, opportunities for students whatever they and we feel can benefit our students in this parish that’s what we want. We want to be a parish that represents all races no matter what.”

Here’s how each board member voted:

Joe Mitcham, Hunter Smith, Donna Doss, David Gullatt, Danny Hancock, Debbie Abraham and Lisa Best voted for Durrett.

Susan Wiley, David Ferguson, Lynda Henderson, Otha Anders and George Mack, Jr. voted for Lyons.

Durrett will start January 1.

You can watch the special session below.

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