Flint school board appoints interim superintendent

The Flint school board appointed Larry Watkins interim superintendent.

The Flint school board appointed Flint native Larry Watkins to serve as the interim superintendent.

After a public interview and deliberation Tuesday night, board members voted 8 to 1 to appoint 59-year-old Watkins to oversee the school district. David Davenport voted against the appointment.

Watkins is a product of Flint Community Schools, and previously served as the district's director of pupil services. His four daughters also graduated from the school district.

"The kids are our main focus,â?? Watkins said. â??I extend that a little bit more. We have to wrap our arms around our parents because our parents are making the decision to leave the urban school districts and go somewhere else,â?? he added.

A second candidate, David Solis, also addressed the board Tuesday night. Solis currently serves on the Flint Housing Commission, but has previously worked as a consultant for the Michigan Department of Education. Solis said he has extensive experience approving and monitoring school budgets. He told the board his priorities are, â??Getting our fiscal house in order. Second is to ensure that we address adequate yearly progress. And third would be school safety."

Solis told the board he was interested in serving only temporarily.

Superintendent Linda Thompsonâ??s 90-day resignation notice expires in February.

The board now needs to draft a contract that will determine when Watkins will start. He has said he would like to serve as the superintendent until the end of the 2014-2015 school year.