Candidate for Phenix City Schools superintendent job on hot seat

Candidate in Phenix City Schools superintendent search on hot seat

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A candidate for the Phenix City Schools superintendent's job answered some tough questions on Tuesday... a job he's held for 9 years.

The school board interviewed Christopher Quinn of Stafford County, Virginia. He's one of two finalists being considered as the district's top administrator.

Quinn holds a doctorate degree in education and wants to be the next superintendent of Phenix City Schools.

"The message I get from the structure of the school is that the people are committed to public education. I think there's a real commitment to excellence. I see that in their vision statement…'pursuing excellence for every child every day and being better everyday'-- I really like that positive tone."

The Augusta, Ga. native says that level of commitment excites him.

"I also see in the continuous improvement plans in each of the schools, there's a real commitment for building leadership where teachers are working together, solving problems together. The principle leadership, I see that as important as instructional leadership. I really believe that the fit that I'm looking for in finding a place where I can be successful; my strength is being an instructional leader.

Quinn answered questions on improving the district's test scores. "The way you can really start to close the achievement gap is to get everyone working together, get the community to support the schools and also build a consensus with the school board."

Considering the dissension between ousted superintendent Larry Dichiara and the board which is in litigation 6 months later, Quinn didn't seem to be moved.

"That's not uncommon. It's really important for the board to go through this process and I applaud the Phenix City School Board for being very diligent and allowing the public to ask questions.

Christopher Quinn says being in Phenix City would put him closer to his mom and son who are in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia.

He's no stranger to the south. He was a school superintendent in Dublin, Georgia back in 2003-2004.

You may recall, the Phenix City superintendent search was narrowed to 4 finalists…2 dropped out leaving Quinn and Erma Townsend of Enterprise, Alabama as finalists.

No word on when a final decision will be made.

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