Flint schools appoints interim superintendent - WNEM TV 5

Flint schools appoints interim superintendent

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FLINT, MI (WNEM/AP) -

The Flint school board has appointed an interim superintendent after removing the superintendent and two other senior officials.

The board's president announced Tuesday that Bilal Tawwab, assistant superintendent Shawn Merriweather and the district's lawyer have been placed on leave.

"The Flint Community Schools Board of Education has decided to move forward immediately in the process of identifying the next leader for the District," School Board President Diana Wright said.

Gregory Weatherspoon was voted in unanimously as the interim superintendent at a special school board meeting on Wednesday.

Weatherspoon has experience on the job. He was the superintendent in Cassopolis for seven years and served as emergency manager of public schools in Muskegon Heights.

"I'm hearing a lot of different things. I'm hearing water being a problem. I'm hearing leadership. I'm hearing collaboration being a problem. I hear a lot of things," Weatherspoon said.

The board said they will begin the search process to find a permanent superintendent.

Tawwab had one year remaining on his contract, which expires after the 2018-2019 school year. He had informed the school board in February he did not want an extension.

Wright said superintendents typically only last three to five years.

"We've been through about six superintendents in the last 15 years and that tells you something as far as the community is concerned," said Hubert Roberts, parent.

Roberts is wishing for some stability in the school system.

"It's the same game they've been playing," he said.

Another parent, Janet Poole, is wishing for consistency as well.

"What the city needs right now is stability and that means stable schools. If you don't have things together at the top, it's going to trickle down and effect everything else below," Poole said.

Parents want to know why the three were let go.

"You just don't fire someone or let somebody go without having a good reason. If it's in the best interest of everyone involved, then so be it," said April Alexander, parent.

While parents are left in the dark, Roberts believes the move means one thing.

"No confidence. They haven't really listened to the needs of the people and what out children are suffering from," Roberts said. "As far as their leadership, it has not been good."

The Flint district has roughly 4,500 students, and enrollment has been falling steadily. Northwestern High School will close in June. In 1968, Flint schools had 47,000 students.

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