CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District is one step closer to hiring a new superintendent.

On Monday, the CCSD Board of Trustees kicked off the first round of candidate interviews during an executive session of a special called meeting. The session lasted for nearly six hours.

Joy Brown, a parent of CCSD students and an education advocate, said she has been following the process closely.

“They’ve got a big job ahead of them because we have such a big district, not only area-wise but diversity-wise, socioeconomically. You’ve got rural, you’ve got downtown, you’ve got all these people who have different needs,” Brown said of the future superintendent.

The search for the next superintendent began in the fall. Last month, the board selected BWP and Associates to help with the process. The firm followed up with a series of community engagement sessions.

“It felt like they were actually listening and taking what we had to say into account to learn about our district and what makes us unique and what makes us, you know, a good fit for a candidate,” said Brown. “So, it was really nice to be a part of that process.”

Current Superintendent Don Kennedy has led the district since January 2022 when he took over as interim superintendent, before officially stepping into the role last June.

Kennedy recently said he planned to apply for rehire, but News 2 is still waiting to learn more details about his official interview process.

Meanwhile, teachers said they know what they want to see from their next leader.

“We need to get teachers up to a salary that will allow them to live in the area in which they teach. That’s priority number one. Another issue that is very big with teachers is discipline. You know, restoring discipline in our classes and our classrooms,“ said Jody Stallings, an eighth grade teacher at CCSD.

Interviews are scheduled to continue Tuesday and Thursday. According to CCSD’s website, the board will announce the candidate on May 30.