Reluctantly, Durham Board of Education moves forward to find new leader

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Who will fill this chair? (Perry Elyaderani)

Two weeks after Durham Public Schools Superintendent Bert L'Homme shocked the school board when he announced his upcoming retirement, the Durham Board of Education met to discuss who might take his place.

"Any time you mention search, you lose stabilization, people get antsy, because they know as a new leader comes in, things change." said Minnie Forte-Brown, a Durham BOE member.

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Things like what the school district focuses its spending on, who it hires, and how problems are resolved. It's an important decision for the district -- just ask the man leaving the role.

"This is a little overwhelming," L'Homme said.

Durham Public Schools Superintendent Bert L'Homme will step down in August.

Maybe overwhelming for the board too, whose tentative goal is to find a replacement before school begins in the fall.

"I don't know where we go from here," said board member Natalie Beyer. "I don't know how we move forward."


But the board is moving forward.

In its meeting next Thursday, Chairman Mike Lee says, it hopes to decide on a timeline, whether it will have an interim superintendent, and which search firm they'll use, if any.

Lee is confident that search can be done before next school year.

The Durham Public Schools board met Wednesday to discuss the search for a new superintendent.

"I think this is a prime time to start searching for a superintendent," Lee said. "As we said in the meeting, those who are looking to move are already on the move now."

Next Thursday's meeting is set for 6:30 p.m., and it is open to the public.

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