The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board is using Twitter and Facebook to introduce the public to its next superintendent via one-minute video clips shared over winter break.
On Dec. 13, the board announced it had agreed to hire Clayton Wilcox, a veteran superintendent currently leading a small district in western Maryland. The board is scheduled to vote on his contract Jan. 10.
So far his personal appearances in Charlotte have been brief and tightly controlled. CMS leaders say he’ll do more face-to-face meetings starting in January, when he comes to town for the contract vote.
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In the meantime, CMS is inviting people to check the district’s social media accounts to hear board members talk about why they chose Wilcox – and Wilcox talking about himself.
Several board members say Wilcox’s experience as a superintendent was a deciding factor in their pick. He currently leads Washington County Public Schools in Hagerstown, Md., which is less than one-sixth the size of CMS. But he has also been superintendent in Pinellas County, Fla., a large district in the Tampa Bay area, and in East Baton Rouge, La.
“We had several candidates that were enthusiastic, energetic and sounded great, but their districts were small and we just could not feel confident that they could handle the complexities that we have here,” said Thelma Byers-Bailey.
“We don’t want someone making their mistakes in our district,” said Vice Chair Elyse Dashew. “We want someone who has already made their mistakes.”
The series also includes one-minute clips of Wilcox talking about himself. In one, he says his emphasis on literacy goes beyond helping students pass exams.
“To be successful in the 21st century you have to be able to read well, you have to be able to think carefully through what you’ve read and then articulate a position,” Wilcox says.