ATLANTA--In the foyer of North Atlanta High School, superintendent candidate Dr. Meria Carstarphen welcomed questions from parents and even students. It was one of six visits she made Saturday to area schools after meeting with school employees and even the mayor and governor earlier in the week.
One parent asked if she plans to undo some of the five year plan put in place by outgoing Superintendant Errol Davis.
"I talked to the board about their strategic plan and there were some areas that they wanted to make adjustments in. They want me to go back in and re-vet with the community and maybe do some re-setting," said Carstarphen.
Plain spoken and direct, Carstarphen is getting high marks from most she makes contact with. Some called her "a breath of fresh air" for the Atlanta Public School District.
"I really enjoyed hearing the whole child, every child passion in her voice. North Atlanta is a very diverse and our goals are in alignment with where she is," said Angela Young, PTA President at North Atlanta High School.
Carstarphen is well aware of the problems that have plagued the district, but says she's not interested in dwelling on them. Instead, she's looking to establish a list of priorities with input from parents and teachers and start moving forward.
Parent Lisa Dwyer said she welcomes that sort of transparency.
"If we, the whole community, knows what the to do list is we can all be on board and support that. We'll also have a sense of when our individual concerns are going to be addressed," said Dwyer.
The school board meets April 1, 2014 to formally vote on hiring Carstarphen. She will be offered a 3 year contract, but school officials have not disclosed her salary.