The Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools board has finalized the district's contract with its next superintendent. Heath Morrison will have a base salary of $288,000 plus a chance at a 10 percent performance bonus. Without any discussion, the board voted unanimously last night to approve the contract.
Morrison was on hand for the vote. He was sitting next to Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark who also applied for the job. She has said she plans to stay with the district. After the vote, he hugged her and shook the hand of every school board member.
"I'm so honored and humbled about the decision of the board and the vote this evening and really ready to start this work," said Morrison. He began the day stopping at a community meeting on the city's west side. Then, he toured three schools, one near uptown and two in south Charlotte, talking with teachers, parents and students.
He says he heard many complaints about people feeling they were left out of decisions on school closures, changes to teacher evaluations, and performance pay. Morrison plans to spend several more days in Charlotte before his official start date of July 1. He says some of that time will include talking to county commissioners about the school board's request for extra money, which would go toward teacher raises.
"County commissioners are going through their important decisions. I'm sure they're anxious to get to know who I am. I'm anxious to get to know who they are. I respect the important decisions they have to make, but I have to make sure that I'm already starting that advocacy for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools," says Morrison.
Once the job starts, Morrison plans to spend 90 days doing what he calls "intense listening" before recommending any changes.