Sutton: Wake superintendent choice may take a week - WNCN: News, Weather

Sutton: Wake superintendent choice may take a week

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CARY, N.C. -

Wake County school board chairman Keith Sutton said Tuesday that the board has not selected a superintendent yet, and the process could last at least another week.

Sutton's comments continued a stunning day, with the board expecting to announce a candidate at the board meeting before having to back away from that.

WNCN News learned earlier Tuesday from multiple sources that the hiring of a superintendent of the Wake County Public School System has not yet been finalized as negotiations continued.

WNCN had learned school officials and lawyers were still hammering out a deal with the leading candidate.

Wake officials had hoped to announce a new superintendent Tuesday. Even Tuesday afternoon, board chair Keith Sutton told WNCN, "It is our plan to make an announcement. If they are not ready, then we won't."

He would not comment on the contract negotiations, or why a deal was not finalized the day an announcement was to come.

But at 2:52 p.m., after WNCN initially reported the story, Wake schools announced that a decision was not coming at Tuesday's meeting.

"The Board of Education has postponed the announcement to the near future," the statement said. Sutton, in a statement, said an announcement "would be premature."

Sutton said late Tuesday afternoon that all three candidates remain interested in the position.

The three finalists for the job are:

  • Dana Bedden, superintendent of the Irving, Texas, Independent School District
  • Ann Clark, deputy superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
  • James Merrill, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Clark could not be reached, but her office said she was in meetings all day. Merrill could not be reached but was scheduled to be in Virginia Beach through Tuesday evening. Bedden could not be reached.

The stunning turn of events Tuesday continues a rocky path for Wake schools since Superintendent Bill McNeal retired in 2006.

His predecessor, Del Burns, resigned in 2010 after Republicans took over the majority of the board. After Democrats regained control, they ousted Superintendent Tony Tata last fall.

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Jonathan Carlson

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