CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Mecklenburg Board Chairman Eric Davis announced Wednesday that CMS will begin discussing appointing an interim superintendent at an emergency meeting, called for June 15.

That person will lead the district through what's likely to be a lengthy search for a superintendent to replace departing leader Peter Gorman. Doctor Gorman said Wednesday that he will stay with CMS through August 15.

Insiders say CMS's current Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh and Chief Academic Officer Ann Clarke are likely candidates for the interim role.

Board member Coach Joe White, who led the search for a new superintendent when Gorman was hired in 2005 and 2006, predicts the process of finding a permanent leader could take a year.

This community will accept nothing less than a national search, he said. When I did it last time, it was the biggest song and dance you've ever seen. We had input from everybody.

Davis also committed to soliciting input from all stakeholders. He reaffirmed the board's commitment to reform, saying, What we ought to reflect on - and will do so with the community and the staff - is how to accomplish those reforms and whether it ll be similar or different than how we ve done in in the past.

Board member Trent Merchant admitted the sudden timing of this announcement is not ideal, but called the search process an opportunity for community buy-in. This could be a very good thing, he said.

White, Merchant, and Lennon all expressed their belief that CMS will attract a high caliber of applicants because of its reputation for reform. We might actually attract a lot of people, Lennon said, so I'm optimistic.

White said a national search firm - as is typical with this kind of search - costs approximately $65,000 in 2005. That money is not set aside in the current budget.

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