Lyles retires from schools

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 7, 2003

[7/1/03]Agnes Lyles, a finalist to become superintendent of the Vicksburg Warren School District, announced her retirement Monday, effective immediately, one day before a fellow administrator became superintendent.

Agnes Lyles, who was serving as assistant superintendent and vocational director, said she had been thinking of retiring later in the year.

“After consulting with my family, we decided I should leave now rather than in the middle of the year,” said Lyles, 56. “I did it to be fair, to make sure everything got off smoothly with the new administration.”

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Lyles said she will pursue other opportunities and, for the next couple of weeks, get some rest.

James Price officially became superintendent today, replacing Donald Oakes.

“It comes as a surprise, and we wish her well,” Price said this morning. “She’s been a real asset to the education community here for years.”

He said the position would be filled after administrators “study the personnel situation.” He said he did not know when to expect an announcement.

Price was chosen by the school district’s five-member board of trustees after a nearly four-month search for a superintendent, in which he and Lyles were two of three finalists. Kim Stasny, superintendent of the Bay St. Louis Waveland School District, was the third.

Lyles, who has been with the school district for 33 years, said her retirement had nothing to do with not being chosen for the position.

She served as a teacher, chairman of the social studies department and assistant principal in the county school district before consolidation of city and county schools in 1986. She served as secondary curriculum director and vocational director for the consolidated school district from July 1998 to June 1999.

Lyles received a bachelor’s degree in 1967 from Alcorn State University and a master’s degree from Mississippi College in 1974.

“I hate to hear that she’s retiring because she has a wealth of knowledge of the school district,” said Kay Aasand, board president and District 5 trustee. “With Mrs. Lyles and Mr. Oakes retiring we will be losing two excellent educators, and they will be greatly missed.”

Oakes officially retired Monday after serving 40 years in public schools.

District 4 trustee and board secretary Jan Daigre said she wishes Lyles the very best in her retirement.

“She’s done a good job for the district, and she’ll be missed,” Daigre said.

And Lyles said she will miss working with the people in the school district.

“I wish them nothing but the best, and I think they’ll do OK,” she said.