University City

CMS selects 3 superintendent finalists and schedules meetings

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials have selected three finalists for the superintendent’s position, but won’t tell the public who they are until next week, when the candidates will meet students, staff and residents.

CMS officials said Wednesday morning in a news release that the finalists “will visit the district” Wednesday and Thursday. The candidates will face a whirlwind schedule of meetings and interviews over a two-day period.

School officials said they would not release the names of the three until Monday. And a spokeswoman for CMS said she did not know if the phrase “visit the district” meant that all three finalists are from outside Mecklenburg County.

Last month, the school board interviewed eight to 12 candidates at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, electing to hold the sessions at the director’s office, behind the airport security gates, to protect the candidates’ identities.

One candidate reporters spotted at the airport was CMS Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark. It was unclear Wednesday if Clark is one of the three finalists; she didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. In all, 89 applications were received for the job, officials said.

The finalists’ schedule includes:

• Three school-site meetings Wednesday morning with students and staff (closed to the public).

• Four meetings Wednesday afternoon and evening, each with a panel discussion format, at sites in or near uptown (open to the public). Only one of those meetings will be in the evening, however.

• A series of school tours on the morning of April 12, followed by a meeting with school principals.

• An April 12 luncheon with elected officials.

• Individual interviews on the afternoon of April 12 with board members.

“We want everyone – the public, our families, and our employees – to take part in this critical part of the search process, so we are making the candidates available in a variety of locations and forums,” school board Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart said in a statement.

The board is expected to select a superintendent in early May. Peter Gorman resigned last summer to take a job in the private sector. Hugh Hattabaugh accepted a one-year interim position when Gorman left, and Hattabaugh is expected to leave CMS in early July.

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