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Community Grills School Superintendent Finalists

Gale Horton Gay | 3/27/2013, 11:49 a.m.

Crawley said staff not acting responsibly should be addressed. He said it's important to increase anti-bullying efforts and have character education and conflict resolution programs in place.

"Consequently, we have to get that person some help," said Crawley. "Little bullies grow up to be big bullies."

Bus driver Bobbie Barbie said bus drivers are being abused by students and asked Crawley what he would do about it.

He suggested addressing specific student behavior, working with the parents and getting additional training for bus drivers on how to intervene.

Peters, who is completing his doctorate in organizational leadership, described growing up in Pensacola, Fla., and being reared by his grandmother who only had a second-grade education. He said he was dependent on teachers for assistance and guidance.

"I always had to fight for what I wanted," he said.

Earnest Moore, president of the Prince George's County PTA Council, asked Peters, "Why should we hire you?"

"My track record speaks for itself," responded Peters, adding that he's results oriented, and brings a fresh perspective and passion.

Peters was also asked about two highly-publicized situations in Chicago - violence involving young people and a labor dispute with teachers that resulted in a strike. He called the strike "unfortunate" and said his focus remained on ensuring students had a safe place to be during the strike and that students and teachers had a smooth return to school after the strike.

One woman pointed out the number of superintendents who have come and gone in the county during the past few years and asked if he was "in it for the long haul." Peters replied "Yes," adding that successful school districts have sustained leadership.

Asked what he would do to ensure that resources still go to children if the county executive gets the superintendent position changed so the person reports to him, Peters said he would "fight." "We have to fight for our children."

Board Chair Verjeana Jacobs thanked the audience for attending the forum and the community for its input in the superintendent selection process. She called the public's responses throughout the process "remarkable."