Powers leaving top spot at Catholic School

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 31, 2002

[1/31/02]Alan Powers has resigned his position as principal of Vicksburg Catholic School after three years on the job.

“I am going to move to Louisiana to be closer to family,” Powers said.

After 28 years as a school administrator, Powers said, he is ready for a change and will be stepping down at the end of the school year.

He declined to discuss his plans further.

“I think we have been moving in the right direction and I am sure that will continue,” Powers said.

Peter Mims, president of the school board, said Powers originally announced his resignation a week ago at a school board meeting but board members and parents urged him to reconsider.

On Monday, Powers said he was reconsidering.

St. Aloysius High School and St. Francis Xavier Elementary along with the city itself will “always be a part” of him, Powers said, but he felt it is time for him to leave.

Mims said Powers, who also served as principal at the Catholic schools in the early 1990s, is a great leader.

“We really hate to see him leaving because we thought he was doing a magnificent job,” Mims said.

That sentiment was echoed by parents as well.

“He’s a good principal,” said Liz Smith-Taylor, whose two daughters attend the schools. “It is going to be tough to see him go.”

Patricia Sadler, whose five children have attended the schools and whose husband, Dr. Robert Sadler, was president of the Catholic school board, said the announcement came as a surprise to her.

“As far as I knew, we were rocking along,” she said. “I’ll be sorry to see him go.”

Powers, 54, said he is grateful for the expressions of regret about his resignation.

“It makes me feel good that people feel that way, but it also makes me feel terrible because it makes me feel like I am letting them down,” he said.

Powers said he will miss the 700 students at the two schools as well. “We have had some good times,” he said.

Powers’ resignation comes at a time when the schools are embarking on a capital campaign to build a third classroom building on the campus between Clay and Grove streets.

During his tenure, the schools have seen new bleachers installed at the football stadium and air conditioning added to the gymnasium, both on Grove Street.

Vicksburg Catholic School is an outgrowth of St. Aloysius, operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart until the late 1960s, and St. Francis Xavier, operated by the Religious Sisters of Mercy until the early 1990s.

With input from the city’s three Catholic parishes and a mostly lay school board, the schools continue to operate under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.

“I am sure the tradition of excellence will continue on,” Powers said.

He said he has two candidates in mind for replacing him, but declined to name them.

Mims said a search for Powers’ replacement would begin soon.

Staff writer Josh Sheperd contributed to this report.