CMS Board hires PR firm for damage control of superintendent suspension

CMS Board hires PR firm for damage control of superintendent suspension

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In the past decade, CMS has had 5 superintendents. The district’s current superintendent, Dr. Clayton Wilcox, is suspended because, sources say, he’s violated multiple district and state policies.

But parents say leadership isn’t just the superintendent’s job, it’s the Board of Education’s responsibility to be leaders, too. The board put the district’s Engagement Officer, Earnest Winston, in charge for the time being.

Another recent decision by the board was the hiring of public relations firm Ketchum. Sources say the firm is expected to specifically to handle the situation involving the superintendent’s suspension so that CMS employees wouldn’t have to deal with a situation between the board and superintendent.

The board is paying $30,000 for the firm’s services. Parents say that money could be used somewhere else.

“It is concerning when we are spending that much money that is not directly being spent and put into our schools," says one CMS parent.

The Ketchum PR firm specifically says they deal with crisis management for their clients. But this isn’t the first time a public relations firm has been hired by CMS. The district also hired one back when former CMS superintendent Heath Morrison resigned in 2014.

Either way, parents say the bottom line is that they want stability in the district.

“They need a good foundation for stability, and if they have a good leader in charge then everything else is going to fall into place," said another CMS parent.

The board is meeting on Friday to discuss the superintendent’s contract. His current contract states he’ll be paid for two years if he is let go without cause, but if the board lets him go with cause then he is not guaranteed any money.

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