Concordia Parish Director of Secondary Education Toyua Watson and the former superintendent of a Mississippi school system, Dr. Montrell Greene, are the finalists for the parish superintendent position.

The Concordia Parish School Board will make its final decision during a special meeting on May 17.

The board concluded two nights of interviews of five candidates last week before narrowing the field to Watson and Greene.

Board members met in executive session and wrote down their two top picks for the job during a special meeting May 6. That list was handed to the board attorney and then to Board President Fred Butcher.

Butcher then read aloud the tally, which showed Greene receiving seven votes and Watson six, the highest among the five candidates.

Board members cast their votes in secret.

Although eight candidates originally applied for the job, only five were interviewed.

Each candidate provided a resume, which included the following information:

Toyua Watson

Toyua Watson was the only superintendent applicant currently working in the Concordia Parish school system. She is the Secondary Director of Education for parish schools.

Watson is presently seeking her doctorate in Developmental Education from Grambling State University.

As director of secondary education in the parish, Watson oversees various funds, assists principals in creating and implementing school improvement plans, oversees curriculum rollouts, handles district professional development and mentors and offers professional guidance to administrators.

She previously served as principal of Ferriday Junior High and prior to that served as an assistant principal at Alexandria Middle Magnet School.

Watson worked as a curriculum specialist, coordinator, data team trainer and teacher.

Dr. Montrell Greene

Dr Montrell Greene, who has ties to Natchez and Concordia Parish, previously served as choral music instructor for the Natchez Adams School District from 1996-1999 and assistant principal at McLaurin Elementary from 1999 to 200

He earned a doctorate from University of Southern Mississippi

Greene is a minister who led church mission trips abroad and established an educational foundation. He also published three children’s books.

He served as superintendent of the Greenwood, Miss., public school district from 2013 to 2016. The district had a budget of $28 million, 450 employees, 2,800 students, one high school, one middle school, one alternative school, one vocational school and four elementary schools.

Greene said he increased graduation rates from 62 to 71 percent, increased ACT scores from 16.2 to 16.8 and moved the district’s only failing school to a D Level within a year.

Monica Henson

Monica Henson earned her Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

She is presently Assistant Superintendent of New Hampshire School Administrative District Unit 44 in Northwood, New Hampshire, serving as chief executive officer for three K-8 public school districts with an annual budget of $39 million, 267 staff and 1,231 students.

Henson previously served as Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. As chief academic officer for the statewide public system for adjudicated youth, she operated a $29 million budget and led a staff of 250 with a student population of 5,500.

She has testified before Georgia legislative committees and has written articles on public charter schools and the effects of writing practice on standardized tests.

Arlana Lewin

Arlana Lewis is Director of Academics and Student Learning for the Madison Parish School Board.

She received her master’s degree in education leadership from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Lewin served as an assistant principal in Concordia Parish from 2008 to 2017 and also worked in the East Baton Rouge, Union, Desoto and Ouachita school systems.

She has a number of certifications involving ethics, emergency preparedness, mathematics and other subjects.

Additionally, Lewin is a member of a number of education organizations.

Karen E. Tutor

Karen E. Tutor is an independent consultant for the Wilkinson County, Miss., school system. She worked in the Natchez Adams County school system from 2016 to 2020.

She served as superintendent of the Pontotoc City School District in Mississippi from 2011 to 2016 and has served as a principal and supervisor in other school districts.

Tutor has a Masters in Education with an emphasis in educational psychology, from the University of Mississippi.

She is a member of multiple professional organizations, has earned numerous awards and recognition for various work and has attended multiple conferences and seminars.

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