CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Two of the three candidates seeking the superintendent position within the Charleston County School District have withdrawn from the process.
“This leak came from within. Which means someone very close to it didn’t want it to work out,” said Courtney Waters, a trustee on the Charleston County School Board.
It comes after the district said the top three candidates’ names and resumes were leaked prematurely by a Facebook group on Tuesday, which prompted frustration among the applicants because they had not yet had the opportunity to speak with their current districts.
“The Board is extremely disappointed that the process of selection has been upended and has apologized for the position this put two of the candidates in,” the district said in an announcement Friday morning.
The Charleston County School District said it has undertaken a “painstaking effort to include robust public and stakeholder input” in its search for a new district leader over the last several months.
“When someone’s boss gets information about them applying for a job from social media before they have had an opportunity to tell it, then that causes a whole series of issues,” Waters told News 2. “And that person could have no reasonable expectation that this board would handle them as a true partner.”
The district’s Board of Trustees worked with search firm BWP in its search and spent nearly a week interviewing potential candidates before voting for the top three candidates during a special called meeting on Monday. The board, however, did not reveal their names at the time.
“I look forward to hearing what our next steps are, because here we are again, in a state of flux and confusion and chaos,” said Joy Brown, a CCSD Parent and education advocate.
The social media post came just one day before the district announced on Wednesday they would be hosting meet and greet opportunities with the candidates. In that announcement, they revealed the names of two of the contenders, Dr. Eric Gallien and Dr. Charles McNulty.
Dr. Gallien was introduced to the community on Thursday night at Burke High School.
“I was at the focus group last night and met with the superintendent candidate, you know. I was looking forward to evaluating him next to some other candidates so, hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to do that,” said Jody Stallings, an eighth grade teacher at CCSD.
According to Waters, Dr. Gallien is the only remaining candidate out of the top three. She told News 2 what will happen next.
“So, the board has to deliberate. We did have a community input from the focus groups, and we have to take all things into consideration. We do want to move forward with the search because ultimately, we can’t allow these types of things to derail us because we will never fix the issues in our system,” the trustee said.
Two other meet and greets were scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, but have since been postponed.