At a special called meeting of the Winn Parish School Board on Monday, June 14, 2021, to interview candidates for superintendent, Al Simmons was elected to the position by the board.
In the public meeting that lasted 4.5 hours and was attended by very few people in person, Simmons won the election 8 to 3.
In attendance to make sure the meeting was held to the highest legal standards was attorney Jon Guice. On Guice’s advice and the board’s acceptance, the candidates drew a number from an envelope to determine who would be interviewed first. Garrett chose number one and was interviewed first. Each board member asked one question of the candidate and then went into an executive session with the candidate in order to ask more personal questions that may have included WPSB personnel. The process was repeated for Simmons. After interviewing both candidates in public and executive session was completed the board re-convened. During the public comment portion, one concerned parent Brad Cooper stood and addressed the board. “When making this decision I hope that you will make the kids and the teachers a priority here,” said Cooper.
The board submitted their written votes simultaneously which were then read aloud.
Votes by the board were:
|Durane Johnson||District 1||Simmons|
|Harry Scott||District 2||Simmons|
|Matt Walton||District 3||Simmons|
|Michelle Carpenter||District 4||Simmons|
|Christy Harrell||District 5||Garrett|
|Michael Riffe||District 6||Garrett|
|Joe Llaine Long||District 7||Garrett|
|Patrick Howell||District 8||Simmons|
|Todd Martin||District 9||Simmons|
|Joe Lynn Browning||District 10||Simmons|
|Leah Clingan||District 11||Simmons|
Al Simmons is a resident of Winn Parish and has been employed by the Winn Parish School Board for 26 of his 29 years in the field of education. Al attended Winnfield schools and was graduated from Winnfield Senior High School in 1986. He earned his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in 1991 and then began his career at Winnfield Senior High where he taught social studies subjects and coached football. After completing one year of employment in Winnfield, Al moved to Acadia Parish where he was employed at Crowley High School as a social studies teacher and coach. While at Crowley, he coached football, basketball, baseball, and track. In 1996, after serving on staff at Crowley High School for 3 years, he returned to the Winn Parish School System as a teacher and coach at Winnfield Senior High School.
Upon completion of a Master’s Degree from Northwestern State in 2000, Al began a career in school administration, serving as Assistant Principal for Winnfield Kindergarten School and then Winnfield Intermediate School. He was named Principal of Winnfield Intermediate School in 2005. In 2007 he was selected for the job of Director of Personnel and Transportation for the Winn Parish School System with additional duties in the areas of athletics, child welfare and attendance, and adult education. He has remained in that position to the present time.
Al has been a member of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association, the Louisiana Association of Principals; and is currently a member of the Louisiana Association of School Transportation Officials, the Louisiana Association of Child Welfare & Attendance Professionals, and the Louisiana State Association of School Personnel Administrators. He has served on the Louisiana State Department of Education Educator Workforce Committee and currently is a member of the Louisiana Advisory Council on Student Behavior & Discipline. He holds Louisiana Type A and B teaching certificates and is certified to teach social studies subjects and to serve in the roles of Principal, Parish or City Supervisor of Instruction, Supervisor of Student Teaching, and Superintendent.
Pictured: Al Simmons with his wife Leslie and parents Mr. & Mrs. Mickey Simmons