Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark said Thursday that she would be open to leading Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools permanently should the school board be interested in having her be superintendent.
That marks a change from Clark’s public statements so far. She has previously said she was still deciding whether she would be interested in pursuing the job.
“I am open to what is the pleasure of the board,” she said in an interview at the Observer’s offices.
Clark, who started working for the district in 1983, became acting superintendent after Heath Morrison suddenly resigned in early November. She has not been named interim superintendent.
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Clark was a candidate for the CMS superintendent position once before, in 2012. The board ultimately chose Morrison. Clark was also a finalist for the superintendent’s role in the Wake County Public School System last year.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board members have yet to discuss how they will pick the next superintendent. The board may discuss launching a search when it convenes in January.
But in the meantime, Clark has begun preparing a schedule for 2015 that would look much like a superintendent’s.
She described Thursday a legislative agenda that will include targeted trips to Raleigh to advocate for teacher pay and making North Carolina competitive in the hunt for talented young teachers. Clark said she has already begun meeting individually with Charlotte’s legislative delegation and hopes to reach all of them before the next session convenes.
Clark said she is committed to the strategic plan developed under Morrison, describing it as “not one person’s strategic plan.” But she said she has met with principals in recent weeks to present a more refined focus. Under her leadership, teachers will focus primarily on literacy, both in written and spoken language, Clark said. The expectation would be to have on-grade-level readers by fourth grade.
Clark said that doesn’t mean CMS won’t treat areas such as science, technology, engineering and math programs as unimportant. But she said literacy will be the “North Star.”
“I felt like we were moving in a lot of different directions,” she said.