by Malcolm Butler
The Lincoln Parish School Board could have as many as six new members following the November 8 elections based on qualifying which ended on Friday.
Races in Districts 3, 7, 10 and 12 include the incumbent but also include at least one challenger. District 1 and 8 will have a new representative as Susan Wiley (District 1) and Lisa Best (District 8) will not be running for re-election. Willie “Jim” Washington and Danielle Williams will battle it out for District 1 while Gregg Phillips will take over the seat for District 8 as the lone candidate.
“Because school board seats are now term limited (3 terms, 12 years), we had the possibility that almost the entire (current) board was going to be wiped out at this time next term (2026),” said LPSB President Joe Mitcham. “But now with the possibility of up to six new people coming on board, that may not be a possibility any more.”
Phillips said he felt a calling to serve on the school board after his four sons all came through the Lincoln Parish School system.
“Our teachers and administrators are amazing, and I want to make sure that we not only retain our great teachers here in our parish, but also attract the best teachers,” said Phillips. “A quality education is one of the most significant and impactful factors that determines a young persons future. And we owe it to our children to provide them the best opportunity we can for them.
“Teachers have an incredibly difficult job, and I want to make sure they know and feel our appreciation and respect. I am anxious to begin meeting with some of our educators and administrators and listen to what we do right and what we can do to improve our system. I know that our administration, beginning with our Superintendent (Ricky) Durrett are doing an amazing job. I want to help them in anyway I can to continue to improve our schools.”
David Ferguson (District 2), Donna Doss (District 4), Danny Hancock (District 5), Mitcham (District 6), Lynda Henderson (District 9) and George Mack (District 11) will all retain their seats as the lone candidates for their respective districts.
The race in District 3 includes Paul E. Bean, incumbent Clark Canterbury and Gloria Miller while the race in District 7 includes incumbent Hunter Smith and Ginny Shadoin Canterbury. Two other races include District 10 where incumbent Otha Anders and challenger Juan Hooper battle while District 12 will be between incumbent Debbie Abrahm and Doug Perry.
Mitcham, who has been a member of the school board since 1995, said its imperative that the elected group continue to work together to keep the parish among the top in the state in terms of education.
“We have a really good board,” said Mitcham. “We work well together. People are really conscientious. We get a lot accomplished. I have been proud of the way we have all worked together.
“The education of our children is so important. Education is the primary job base for Lincoln Parish with Louisiana Tech and Grambling State. When you think about it everything falls back on education.”
Lincoln Parish School Board
Willie “Jim” Washington, Jr. (NP)
Danielle Williams (D)
David Ferguson (D-Incumbent)
Paul E. Bean (NP)
Clark Canterbury (R-Incumbent)
Gloria Miller (NP)
Donna Doss (NP-Incumbent)
Danny Hancock (NP-Incumbent)
Joe Mitcham Jr. (D-Incumbent)
Ginny Shadoin Canterbury (R)
Hunter Smith (R-Incumbent)
Gregg Phillips (R)
Lynda Henderson (NP-Incumbent)
Otha Anders (D-Incumbent)
Juan Hooper (D)
George Mack, Jr. (D-Incumbent)
Debbie Abrahm (I-Incumbent)
Doug Perry (NP)
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