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Flint school board to interview superintendent candidates

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Flint school board will interview candidates for its superintendent job next week.

The board will quiz the finalists about ways they can improve the struggling school district.

Wednesday, a search firm released the names of the six finalists for the position.

1) Bilal Kareem Tawwab- Asst. Superintendent, Detroit public schools 

2) Dr. Kimberly Leverette – Asst. Superintendent, Pontiac schools       

3)  Jerri-Lynn Williams-Harper – Superintendent, Albion schools       

4) Dr. Jesse Kilgore – Asst.  Superintendent, Flint community schools                                

5) Dr. Frederick Hill – Superintendent,  Nachez, Mississippi

6) Errick Greene – Managing Director, Insight Education Group        

The finalists were narrowed down from a list of 27 applicants.  Fifteen of the applicants came from out of state.  

James Morse is with the national search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. 

He led the search.  

Morse says there is a reason why most of the six finalists come from districts struggling with declining enrollment and poverty.

“I was looking for someone who could deal with the problems of declining enrollment…the issues of poverty in communities,” says Morse. “The board really wanted someone who could understand those issues and be able to deal with them and have a proven track record of dealing with those issues.”

Many of the finalists have professional or personal ties to the Flint area.  Several taught in Flint schools.  Finalist Errick Greene is the son of one of the Flint school board members.   

Morse says the school board hopes to pick a new superintendent by the end of the month. He says the new superintendent would be expected to start sometime in August.

Interim School Superintendent Larry Watkins is retiring.   

The new superintendent will assume control of a district with declining enrollment and a roughly $20 million budget deficit.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.