RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) — The state’s largest public school system is looking to fill its highest position.

Thousands of parents, teachers, community members and other staff in the Wake County Public School System weighed in on what they want to see in its new superintendent.

There are 28 applicants vying for the job.  

The five top-ranked characteristic criteria based on community surveys include:  

  1. Models high standards of integrity;
  2.  Is willing to listen to input;
  3. Understands how to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students and staff;
  4. Understands how to effectively advocate for needed resources and
  5.  Knows how to encourage staff, students, parents and community members to work together.

Community members also ranked the type of experience they want to see:

  1. Has been an effective classroom teacher;
  2. Has experience in curriculum development and instruction;
  3. Has experience with building, maintaining and managing schools;
  4. Has been a successful principal and
  5. Has been a successful assistant or associate superintendent.

“These responses made it very clear of what we kind of already knew is that the people of Wake County truly appreciate and care about their schools,” board chair Lindsay Mahaffey said.

The North Carolina School Boards Association presented the superintendent survey results to Wake school board leaders Friday.

“We have to be responsive to the community and make sure we are taking their opinion into it because it is a closed search. So we need to know how folks in Wake County feel about the next instructional leader of our district,” Mahaffey said.

The next steps will be a series of closed-session meetings to review the applications, choose who they want to interview and make a decision over the next few months.

Click here to see the full Superintendent Search Survey Summary Report.