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Acting CMS superintendent makes pledge to families ahead of new school year

"I love this district with all of my heart, I would do anything for this district, and I stand ready to serve at the pleasure of the board," Earnest Winston said.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With just about a month before thousands of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students head back to school, the acting leader is vowing it will be business as usual. 

WCNC caught up with Acting Superintendent Earnest Winston right after his first school board meeting, even asking him if he'd want the job permanently. 

"You have my word, that I will lead with integrity," Winston said at the meeting.

At his first school board meeting, Winston vowed to put students first. 

"We are in time of leadership transition in our district, but our team's focus on students remains clear because they are what matter most," Winston said. 

His promise comes at a time of rocky leadership at CMS after Dr. Clayton Wilcox resigned as superintendent after being suspended by the school board. 

The man filling his shoes said it's been something to get used to.

"Just a little bit more work, couple more meetings," Winston said. "I've embraced it, working to get into a regular routine and a rhythm."

One of his priorities is student safety -- a subject he takes seriously. 

"We want to do everything we can, and we're always assessing the situation to figure out how can we get better," Winston said.

A search by the board for a permanent superintendent continues. 

"I love this district with all of my heart, I would do anything for this district, and I stand ready to serve at the pleasure of the board," Winston said.

A safety task force also presented recommendations to the board on Tuesday night. Those included things like a helpline, extra staff training, and ID badges for volunteers at schools. 

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