CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County School District Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait met with the public on Monday for the first time since she was selected for the position.
The meet and greet happened at the district headquarters in downtown Charleston where Postlewait said she was excited to get to work.
Postlewait said this was a unique time to step into the role as the community continues to heal from the Mother Emanuel massacre.
She says now more than ever she's seeing people willing to keep an open mind and stay connected to their neighbors.
Postlewait said she is aware that not everyone was happy about her selection.
Most notably the NAACP voiced their concerns on the selection process but she says she stands committed to being receptive to their concerns and welcomes all groups to reach out and get to know her.
The CCSD board announced Postlewait was selected for the job on July 2. Postlewait's contract started July 14.
The contract says Postlewait will be paid an annual salary of $226,000. The School Board and Superintendent can agree to increase her salary during her term, but the contract says the her salary will be no less than the initial amount they agreed on.
She was chosen from three finalists. When the board made the announcement, some felt the selection process should have been delayed due to the tragedy at Mother Emanuel AME church, which happened on June 17. Leaders in the black community requested time so more people could weigh in. This is following several meet-and-greets with the candidates held while the Charleston community mourned the nine lives lost.
Postlewait is from Georgetown and says she was called to do the work of superintendent. She was the first of the three finalists to do the public interviews at the end of last month. From 2006 to 2013, she was the chief K-12 officer for the Stupski Foundation, a San Francisco-based education reform nonprofit. She later worked for the ACT, the college-entrance exam. She left her role at ACT earlier this year in order to apply for the open superintendent position.
The search process for a new superintendent started when former Superintendent Nancy McGinley resigned in October after the firing and rehiring of Academic Magnet High School football team's coach over a post-game victory ritual featuring what many considered a racial stereotype demeaning to African-Americans.
School for CCSD students starts on August 17.