Bearden Middle School's small auditorium hosted big ideas about the future of Knox County Tuesday night.
Nearly 100 people turned out as parents, students and teachers shared their thoughts on the search for the next Knox County Schools superintendent.
“I would like to see at least 5 years of actual classroom experience,” one parent said.
"Someone has got to stand up for our children, who are not just test scores,” said another.
A similar meeting was held last week.
The meetings meeting were meant to give the community a voice in the selection process.
Based on community input, Buzz Thomas, the interim superintendent, says there are two important traits they're looking for.
"Knox County residents want somebody with teaching experience, I think that's very important to them, of course somebody with management experience not only with people but with money,” he said.
Thomas said the attendance at Tuesday's meeting is a strong indicator of how much this hire matters to people.
“We won't be able to have the best school district in the South if we don't have a great leader,” said Thomas.
Knox County parent Kim Kredich wants to make sure special needs students are treated with equality.
"We need a superintendent who's going to be engaged in solving these issues,” said Kredich.
The next step comes Oct. 21 as school board members meet for a two-day retreat to iron out a plan to hire a new superintendent. The ideas gathered Tuesday were recorded and will be reviewed at that retreat.
"We will have a little bit of information from what the community would like us to consider as we have our discussions, so it's very helpful,” explained school board member Gloria Deathridge.
If you missed the public input meetings you can send your thoughts to the Knox County School Board here.
(© 2016 WBIR)