NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A group of community leaders has been rallying to get the Metro School Board to re-open the search for a new Director of Schools.
At a meeting at the Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, several people argued Dr. Angela Huff--one of the three finalists for the job-- should be the next director.
“We don’t need to waste any more of the taxpayer dollars,” said Frank Stevenson, pastor of St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church. “We have someone who is qualified and wants the job.”
A group of Metro teachers, parents and residents listened as several supporters outlined why Dr. Huff deserves a second look.
“Dr. Huff had a strong interview. She answered questions deeply,” said Tyese Hunter, Metro School Board Member.
“If she was not qualified to be hired, you should not have put her in the deck,” added Rev. Enoch Fuzz, Pastor at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church.
Dr. Huff is currently the Chief of Staff in the Cobb County school district in Georgia. She lived in Nashville as a child, and is a product of Metro Schools. Supporters said in addition to her experience, she was the perfect person to lead a district with predominantly minority students. Dr. Huff would be the first woman and African American to hold the job.
“Nashville says it values diversity,” said Rep. Brenda Gilmore. “Let’s seize this opportunity. We have a smart female who just happens to be African American.”
Dr. Huff, along with Williamson County Director of Schools Dr. Mike Looney, and retired Cabarrus County Superintendent Dr. Barry Shepherd were the three finalists for the position. During her interviews, Dr. Huff talked about the importance of teamwork and communication. Metro Board Members voted to offer the job to Dr. Looney, but he turned it down to stay Director of Schools in Williamson County.
Board Chair Sharon Gentry said the board did not designate a second choice candidate, and she felt there was no rush to make a decision.
“The district is in capable hands with Chris Henson as interim director, so I don’t feel a sense of urgency to make any immediate decisions,” said Gentry.
Supporters said they weren’t backing down, and passed around petitions to show the amount of community support for Dr. Huff. They plan to deliver those petitions at the August 11 Metro School Board meeting.