Inside the Dallas County Resource Learning Center assistant superintendent Donald Willingham made his case as to why he should be the county's top educator.
Willingham had his formal interview today in front of the Dallas County School Board.
Billy Quarles admitted he hopes Mr. Willingham gets the job but says regardless of who gets the nod the school district needs a strong leader.
"It's going to be a challenge. Everyday there's a new problem," said Quarles.
Willingham declined an interview as well as current superintendent Dr. Fannie Major McKenzie. McKenzie, we're told, is retiring after completing more than 30 years in the school district, the last 8 as superintendent.
"She's done a good job," said school board president Bill Minor.
Whoever gets the job will take over a $30 million budget, command the second largest employer in the county and glaring problems; how to rescue 4 failing schools in the county. Brantley Elementary is among them and it's located right across the street where the interviews are taking place. There are 5 candidates including Willingham. The candidates are all from Dallas County with backgrounds in education.
The candidates are: Tonya Chestnut, Clarence Jackson, Jr., Donald Willingham, Zella Ford and Zanetta Simmons-Ervin.
"We must have the best superintendent we can find," said Minor.
Dallas County has 12 public schools with a student population of around 5,000. The new leader will earn approximately $115,000 a year. That's in line with what Dr. McKenzie is making.
The school board expects to name its new leader in September. McKenzie isn't retiring until November 1.
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