Public weighs in after CMS superintendent candidates speak

Dr. Kriner Cash, Dr. Heath Morrison and Ann Clark


by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 11 at 6:17 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolyn Smith Hester spent 33 years teaching in CMS schools before recently retiring.  That's why she made a point to come to uptown’s Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church to hear what the three finalists for the top job at CMS had to say.

"I’m very much interested,” Hester said.  “Decisions they make today will impact our community for tomorrow.”

For the first time Wednesday, the public had a chance to meet the three finalists--Dr. Kriner Cash, Ann Clark and Dr. Heath Morrison.  Each appeared at various public forums.

A panel including the local NAACP president and the head of the Classroom Teacher’s Association spent the afternoon questioning the three candidates on things like teacher raises, bullying, and diversity, all of which are on people’s minds after last year’s school reshuffling.

Araminta Johnston is a Queens Professor who was anxious to hear what the candidates had to say on the diversity issue.

“When our daughters were in CMS, when we moved here 30 years ago, we were told the schools were all equal and that was true, so they had a great experience.  We hate to see the loss of diversity,” Johnson said.

Johnston said she wanted to see the candidates in person.

“I guess I’m here to do my best job of reading them,” she added.  “There’s a lot they don't tell you.”

Most in this crowd said they are a little bit anxious and also a little bit hopeful as the search for the superintendent nears an end. 

“It is vital that we get the right leadership for Charlotte,” Hester added.