Likely new Wake County Superintendent Anthony Tata comes in with a reputation as being a hard worker both in his day job with D.C. Schools and in his night job as a political commentator.
As noted in today's article, former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee praised Tata and said he's ready and qualified to lead the Wake school system. Rhee singled out Tata's work streamlining D.C.'s school nutrition and purchasing programs during his 18 months as chief operating officer.
"He's not a touchy-feely guy who will hold people's hands" Rhee said. "He's very goal oriented. He was a general so he knows about leadership. He knows how to get the job done."
Rhee relayed similar praise when she was contacted by Heidrick & Struggles to be a reference for Tata. In case you're wondering, Rhee said she never seriously considered applying for the Wake job.
Author Richard Whitmire interviewed Tata for a book he's writing about Rhee. Whitmire said Tata organized his office and his meetings very much based on his logistics experience as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
When not in his office, Tata has been a regular commentator on conservative websites such as breitbart.com and made several appearances on national television news shows, such as Fox News and CBS.
For instance, Tata praised former vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin while reviewing her book, "Going Rogue." He's also criticized President Obama in several posts.
Patty Williams of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition said that it would be a mistake for the school board to hire Tata, whom she called a "political partisan." She said it would be like "pouring more gasoline over the fire" in the current school climate.
But Joe Ciulla of the Wake Schools Community Alliance says he doesn't care about Tata's personal political opinions as long as he keeps it out of his job as superintendent. He argues that critics of hiring Tata wouldn't be bringing up his political views if he was a liberal.
Rhee said that Tata didn't let his political views impact his work in D.C.