Acting Wake County Schools Superintendent Stephen Gainey is learning on the job right now.
As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Gainey said he’s still developing first-hand knowledge of some of the system’s issues after having been assistant superintendent for human resources. This includes, he said, getting caught up on the status of the new student assignment plan and on the work being done for the next school construction bond referendum.
“Our role is to make sure that we are making sound requests, with research and support for why we are making that request,” Gainey said in an interview Monday.
Gainey said he wants to work collaboratively with the school board on issues such as funding problems, an in-progress student assignment plan and the system’s accreditation.
“I prefer that the board and I work as a team,” Gainey said. “I will not choose sides on the board.”
Gainey, 42, was approved for a 60-day stint as acting superintendent after Tony Tata’s ouster. Board members from both parties voiced support and respect for him. He had served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in Wake schools before joining the administration.
“I want the Board of Education to be a successful group,” he said. “We are going to continue to work to promote consensus and we are not going to give up on it. A whole bunch of children depend on that.”
Gainey said he was approached last Tuesday by school board chairman Kevin Hill about being acting superintendent. Gainey said he's so focused on his new job that he's not yet thinking about whether he'd apply for the position on a permanent basis.
If the Democratic board majority decides to reverse the changes that the prior GOP majority made in terms of the qualifications for superintendent, Gainey would be ready. He is certified to be a superintendent, which was one of the prerequisites before the prior board opened it up to non-educators.