CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board has voted to enter contract negotiations with a candidate for its superintendent role.
The board voted 6-2 to begin talks with Dr. Eric Gallien.
Gallien, a superintendent from Racine, Wisconsin, was given an opportunity to speak to the community Thursday night and answer questions from a focus group.
“In order to get the entire community on the same page, we have to go through an engagement process,” Gallien said at that meeting. “As a district, we have a priority to say we value these things, and we need to make sure every school has them at a base level.”
The district did not allow the media to ask Gallien questions directly.
Nathalie Bennett, the district’s 2022 teacher of the year, was one of the people who did get to speak with Gallien. She said although their conversation was brief, Gallien shared what she called “interesting ideas about using networking to hear all the teacher’s voices.”
Gallien began his tenure with the Racine Unified School District on July 1, 2018, its website states. It lists several accomplishments he has made at that district, including developing and implementing a comprehensive district long-range facility plan, passing a $600 million referendum to support that plan; and launching a district-wide early literacy initiative with a specific focus on K-2 grade levels and launching community schools in partnership with the United Way. It also credits him for developing and implementing school-based mental health clinics.
Prior to joining that district, Gallien served as the regional director of school support in Milwaukee Public Schools, his biography states.
The Charleston County School Board announced two of its three finalists last week and scheduled public meetings with them. The district had not yet named a third, stating it was working to confirm a time for a public meeting with that candidate.
District spokesperson Vanessa Denney said on Friday that the second finalist, Dr. Charles McNulty, and the third finalist decided to withdraw after their names were leaked in a social media post.
“To our dismay, this past Tuesday evening before the top three candidates’ names and resumes were ready to be put forth publicly, a Facebook group leaked their names,” the district said in a statement. That release, the district said, caused “confusion and frustration” among the candidates resulting in two of the three withdrawing.
Gallien did not withdraw from consideration.
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