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School board responds to biz leaders' letter

READ MORE: School board responds to biz leaders' letter
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Local business leaders want input in the New Hanover County School Superintendent search. The Chamber of Commerce is concerned that the public will know little about the county's new top educator until the school board makes its selection.

The Chamber wrote an open letter signed by about 30 area business leaders asking for a say in the superintendent search. The Chamber wants the newly formed Cape Fear Future commission to be part of the interview panel, so the school board can hear what other local leaders think about the candidates.

"We certainly think the school board has the ultimate hiring and firing responsibility, but I never think community input is a bad thing," Chamber CEO/President Connie Majure-Rhett said. "We have a saying around the Chamber, "More brains are better than a few," and I think having the community involved in the search brings a superintendent in that already has support from the community."

School board chair Ed Higgins says the board values the community's input.

"I think where we disagree is whether or not they should be sitting at the table questioning these individuals when in fact that's what the school board was elected to do," Higgins said.

Not all school board members feel that way. Nick Rhodes welcomes the idea of additional panels interviewing the candidates.

Board members hope to announce the new superintendent by June 30, when Al Lerch retires from the position.

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