The first of two finalists for superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District spent the entire day Wednesday interviewing for the job.
Nikolai Vitti is the superintendent for the Duvall County Schools in Florida. His interview day in Detroit started with meetings with the district’s academic and finance departments. He visited four schools and answered questions from panels consisting of parents, faith leaders and union heads. The day ended with a public interview with the board where Vitti outlined his strategies for teacher recruitment and retention, allocating district resources and increasing enrollment.
“I say this not to make a statement of bravado, but we are going to put charter schools out of business,” Vitti said during the board interview. “And why and how is because we’re going to offer a better product.”
Vitti is a Dearborn Heights native.
He says he’s happy in his current job and would only consider leaving it for a chance to turn schools around at “home.”
Vitti says he was “shocked an enraged” at the state of the infrastructure in Detroit schools.
“To see that our children have to go to schools where there are holes in the walls, tiles that are not replaced,” Vitti said. “It’s unconscionable and it’s a clear indication of the injustice that our children face here and we have to find a solution to that.”
Vitti says if he were chosen as the superintendent of DPSCD he, his wife and four children would live in Detroit. And his children would attend district schools.
Derrick Coleman – superintendent of River Rouge Schools – is set to spend Monday interviewing with DPSCD officials.