If the Wake County school board does remove Del Burns earlier than June 30, someone needs to step in soon as interim superintendent.
As noted in Saturday's article, there's no obvious choice like a deputy superintendent to step in because Burns eliminated that position in 2006 when he converted it to the new slot of chief business officer.
While it's not a guarantee, three potential internal choices for interim superintendent could be Chief Area Superintendent Danny Barnes, Chief Academic Officer Donna Hargens and Chief Business Officer David Neter. Of the trio, only Neter is a non-educator.
The interim superintendent would likely need to serve for several months, especially if a national search is conducted. It's possible that the new permanent successor to Burns might not be available to start until this fall.
Options could include naming an in-house choice as interim superintendent for the long haul, naming an external candidate to hold the fort for awhile or picking an internal choice to do the job for a little while until someone else can be brought in as a long-term interim super.
One of the reasons given by members of the school board minority to let Burns stay through June 30 is to give more time to find an interim supt. Burns has said that one of the reasons he wants to stay on for the next four months is so that the board won't feel rushed finding an interim supt.
"I would hate to lose his direction and guidance with the system before we have the opportunity to bring a new superintendent on board," said school board member Kevin Hill in Saturday's article. "Even if we were not able to hire a new superintendent by June 30, that would give us time to bring in a well-qualified interim."
But school board member John Tedesco said there are administrators within Wake who could serve as interim superintendent without waiting until June 30.
One complication is that the senior staff, as noted in last week's In Context issue of the Wake Education Partnership, "believe strongly in the same goals as Burns." You may get resistance from some to accept being interim superintendent, especially in a situation where Burns is forced out early.