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The interim superintendent for CMS steps down in June 2023. School leaders want input on the next permanent one

The CMS Board of Education wants to hear from students, parents, staff, and others with an interest in the next leader for the district.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will remain under the guidance of an interim superintendent through the end of the 2022-23 school year, and district leaders want input on what people want to see for the next person to helm the district.

The CMS Board of Education announced Tuesday they have partnered with Charlotte-based firm Civility Localized as part of a community engagement campaign to learn what those involved in the district think is most important.

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“We want to hear from students, parents, staff, and partners throughout Mecklenburg County. Your voices matter. What personal qualities and skills do you value in the next superintendent? Share your hopes, dreams, and expectations,” said board chairperson Elyse C. Dashew.

The engagement campaign is running now through Dec. 13, 2022. Interviews, surveys, focus groups, and more methods of gathering data will be used, and findings will be shared with the board during its meeting the same day the campaign ends.

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“The goal is to gain as many perspectives as possible,” said Christine Edwards, who founded Civility Localized and is a CMS graduate herself. “We hope to illuminate the needs and priorities of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.” 

Those who wish to take part in the engagement sessions can register online. A link to the survey and to sign up for listening sessions is included.

Currently, CMS is under the leadership of interim superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh. The previous superintendent, Earnest Winston, was fired in April 2022 and granted a $24,000/month severance. Leading up to his firing, district leaders compiled a presentation that outlined three key principles for the next permanent superintendent, and WCNC Charlotte reviewed emails that showed board members' growing frustrations with him.

The Board of Education wanted Winston to resign instead of face termination according to a letter sent to his attorney first shared by Charlotte NPR station WFAE. Winston did make an offer to resign, but the terms were not disclosed in the letter WFAE obtained.

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