Franklin Parish School Board selects new superintendent

FRANKLIN PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The Franklin Parish School Board will have some new direction come next year.

This selection comes after long-time superintendent Dr. Lanny Johnson announced he would be retiring and giving up his seat in January. Source: (KNOE)

The board voted on a new superintendent at Tuesday night’s meeting.

This selection comes after long-time superintendent Dr. Lanny Johnson announced he would be retiring and giving up his seat in January.

John Gullatt, LaTanga Blackson and Brian Gunter were the three applicants seeking Johnson’s title.

Gullatt was selected for superintendent with four votes, followed by Blackson with three and Gunter with zero.

Prior to the selection, each applicant participated in an interview session with the entire board.

School board president Richard Kelly praised the board’s efforts prior to the final vote.

"I want to commend the board for sticking to what we said we would do,” Kelly said, “We have followed the process to a T.”

He also thanked the community, who showed up in large numbers in support of the applicants.

“I appreciate the public's input, and so this is big-time for this parish and monumental," Kelly said.

The close vote between Gullatt and Blackson did draw mixed emotions from some of the community members.

Alice Wallace, whose daughter attends one of the district’s schools, called for more inclusion and higher test scores.

Although she says she was sad to see Blackson lose, she’s focused on the bigger picture.

“Our vote counts… the three women voted for her, the four men voted for the other guy, and so we need to know that our vote counts,” Wallace said.

Others say they were neutral in the board’s decision. For Hazel Jones, the district’s athletic maid, she said it’s about progress.

“I want [Gullatt] to take more time in focusing on the teachers and how they talk to the children and how the children talk to them and how they communicate with each other,” Jones said, “So the children and the teachers can make a difference for Franklin Parish."

Gullatt will be presented with a written contract including salary, benefits and objectives/performance targets. After that, he will be required to come to an agreement with board officers, and the contract will be presented to the board for consideration at the next school board meeting.