Parents voice what they want in future FUSD superintendent at community meeting

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Three months after the Fresno Unified board voted to terminate long-time superintendent Michael Hanson, the first public meeting allowing community input took place. (KFSN)

Community members gathered Monday night to give their input on what they would like to see in the next Fresno Unified Superintendent.

This was the first meeting the district, along with the search firm, hired to help find a new superintendent held. And although the turnout was not very big, those that were very vocal about who they want stepping in.

Three months after the Fresno Unified School District board voted to terminate long-time superintendent Michael Hanson, the first public meeting allowing community input on what type of person the next leader should take place.

And it was clear what some inside Bullard High School's cafeteria do not want to see.

"Find someone who is exactly the opposite of what for probably had for ten, twelve years," one person said.

"We have had 12 years of a superintendent leading a board and that is what got us here today," another speaker added.

Chrissy Kelly left her seven-year-old son who is recovering from an appendicitis attack at the hospital to be there. He has autism, and her hope is the new superintendent will make changes to better the special education department for students like him.

"Special education is a back burner issue, and children with special needs have to be given an individualized approach in order to make sure that they are a part of the entire community," she said.

Other residents say they want someone who is trustworthy and capable of driving their vision home to the more than 74,000 students.

"I would like to see somebody that is transparent, somebody that is accountable," a member of the public said.

"A superintendent that is transparent and that is not combative but a collaborator," another person added.

Michael De La Cerda was one of the several teachers there. He wants the next person heading the district to expand on what is being executed that works.

"Someone who would be willing to come in and focus on what do well and how can we improve," he said.

Board President Brooke Ashjian says this is part of the process to having someone in play by August.

"We say we are going to listen to everybody we're definitely going to listen to everybody and take a lot of copious notes and see where we land," he said.

For more information and future meeting dates, click here.
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