Speakers address CMS superintendent search

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Conduct a search for a new superintendent - that's what majority of the speakers who addressed CMS Board of Education told members about finding a leader.

"The administration has focused on putting people in leadership who have the popularity but not the reputation," Waddell Brunson said. "the administration has focused on putting people who are easy choices but cannot solve hard problems."

Brunson was one of a handful of speakers who spoke to the board about the Superintendent search.

Ann Clark was named Superintendent in January after Heath Morrison resigned suddenly last November.

The board has not spoken publicly about a search for the next leader.

Clark agreed to guide CMS until she retires in 2016.

"I hold no animosity for any person but, make no mistake about it, this is a fight for survival of all children's academic and scholastic future," Colette Forrest said. "As you consider who will be our superintendent, it is my sincere hope and prayer that you will choose someone who has demonstrated the ability to excel and be a leader of a winning team, not just someone else's team."

Speakers were not allowed to talk about an individual specifically.

Forrest said CMS needs a leader who will unite not divide the school community. She said in the past the school board and CMS employees made decisions that negatively impacted some children. She pointed out the "closure of schools in 2010."

Some said they blame the current administration for what they believe is much disparity in CMS schools.

"Everyday that goes by this board does not consider a fair, valid and unbias process to select the next superintendent is a day that extreme disparity continues, another child is affected by the lack of focus on the overall problems at CMS," Brunson said. "CMS School board I challenge you to select an independent firm to perform the Superintendent search and put all candidates - even those who currently serve - through this process."

Some CMS supporters say there are initiatives in place - such as increasing proficiency and focusing on reading at grade level - that shouldn't be disrupted by looking for someone new.

"I know the leadership that you've got now. I've got extreme confidence. And I'm asking that you consider stability," said Stick Williams of Project L.I.F.T. "Stability and leadership accomplish a great deal."

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