CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County School District’s new superintendent, Dr. Eric Gallien, introduced himself and answered questions Thursday as he embarks on the new role.

Dr. Gallien said the next 100 days will be critical – he plans on using that time to listen and learn about the school district and put together an improvement plan.

“First and foremost, I want to assure you and emphasize my unwavering commitment to the achievement of every single one of our students,” said Dr. Gallien.

Dr. Gallien believes that his strength is in bringing people together. He also wants to be open about the health issues he’s faced.

“Four years ago, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It was a challenging and life-changing experience,” he said. “I am grateful to now be in remission.”

He’s also had two knee replacements in the past four years.

Dr. Gallien addressed several issues during Thursday’s meet-and-greet, including the controversy over his hiring. He was in the top 3 candidates for the job, but the other two dropped out after it was announced that a Facebook group allegedly leaked their names.

“There was no secret that there were some controversies throughout the search, but I am committed to this community,” he said.

Dr. Gallien addressed his salary, of $275,000, which is much more than his predecessor made at under $230 thousand. “Well, the market drives that,” he said. “The offer was based on market value.”

Another hot topic he addressed: critical race theory.

“Critical race theory does not fit into my approach. I do not advocate critical race theory, nor do I think it has a place in K-12 education,” he noted.

Dr. Gallien said he plans on listening to the community and coming up with a plan of approach. He will present that plan to the public after the 100-day period.