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Community wants CMS superintendent to boost morale

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TWC News: CMS superintendent candidates face community questions at forum
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CHARLOTTE – Many in the community are glad they had the opportunity learn more about each candidate during the community forum at Northwest School of the Arts.

News 14 Carolina's Heather Waliga served as master of ceremonies.

Tonight's forum followed a series of other community interviews with those three candidates who say they should be the next leader of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The finalists fielded questions from students, employees and parents anxious to learn what they would bring to the table if selected for the job.

And board members said they're taking public input very seriously as they decide who will fill the position.

More than a hundred people gathered to hear the candidates make their pitch.

Afterwards, audience members said they're looking for very specific qualities in the next superintendent, particularly someone who can boost morale in a system that's seen cuts and layoffs over the last several years.

Aidan McConnell, a Providence High School senior who was chosen to be a panelist in tonight's forum, said he still hasn't made up his mind after hearing from the candidates, but said he wants to make sure it's someone who advocates for all students getting a fair share in resources.

“My main interest isn't just representing just Providence, it's making sure every school in CMS get what they truly need,” said McConnell.

“I think that teachers are looking for someone to raise the morale across the district,” said Tricia Lyons, first grade teacher. “I think that this is a continuing concern.”

The candidates will make school visits tomorrow and speak at a private lunch with political and education officials before facing a final school board interview – all of which are closed to the public and the media.

The board is expected to make a final decision on who gets the job early next month.

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