CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston says his experience may actually be an advantage.

The former reporter and teacher has never been a principal or superintendent. It’s not the typical path for one of the largest school districts in the country.

He says he plans to go on a listening tour as the school year starts, but he did hint at some issues he plans to focus on, such as mending relationships with town boards like Matthews.

Matthews' board clashed with CMS over efforts by some to allow municipalities to create their own charter schools. Winston also plans to focus on equity in the school district.

Despite the short tenure of recent CMS superintendents, Winston has plans to stay.

"As long as I feel I can be effective and can make a difference in the lives of children, I will be here as long as the board would ask me to be here," he said.

He says he sees the superintendent position as a long-term job.

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