Whalum throws support behind Herenton for superintendent - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Whalum throws support behind Herenton for superintendent

Kenneth Whalum Kenneth Whalum

At least one Memphis City School Board member is ready to give outgoing Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton a chance at leading the embattled school system.

City school board commissioner Kenneth Whalum said Saturday that Herenton is more than qualified to lead the city school system.

"I mean who on the face of the planet has more hands experience with Memphis city schools than Willie Herenton?" he asked.

Just hours after the mayor announced his resignation, Whalum sent a letter urging school board president Tomeka Hart to set up a public meeting with Herenton. 

"I just think it's a win-win situation just to hear from him," He said.  "What do you have to say? What are your proposals?"
But Whalum isn't sure his idea has the support of his fellow board members.

"I'm not saying Mayor Herenton is the man for the job. What I'm saying is we owe it to him as the mayor of the city to hear what he has to say," he said."

Whalum added the meeting isn't motivated by his own aspirations to be the next Memphis mayor.

"I'm not thinking about the mayor's office. I'm thinking about doing what I promised the voters of Memphis that I would do," he said.

Herenton has not applied for the superintendent's job or publicly announced his interest in the position, but according to Whalum, Herenton sent the board a letter several weeks ago expressing concerns over the problems in the school system.

 "And he closed the letter by saying I want to help," Whalum said.

Whalum wants to know what the mayor meant by that, saying it's not practical to continuing wasting taxpayer money on a nationwide search for a superintendent when the best man for the job might be right here at home.

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