CLEVELAND (WJW) – A few emotional parents spoke out at the first community meeting held Tuesday night in the search for a new CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“The most important thing I think the new CEO needs to focus on is safety,” said one parent.

Around 50 people met in the cafeteria of East Professional Center. It was a mix of parents, community members, council people and activists.

According to Monica Santana Rosen with the advisory team assisting in the search, two more community meetings are scheduled for Wednesday at Max Hayes High School and Thursday at John F. Kennedy High School.

“We have about 35 focus groups scheduled over the next three days. We are meeting with teachers next week. We want to hear from as many people in the community as possible,” said Rosen.

The search comes after Eric Gordon announced last year that he plans to step down at the end of this school year.

Eventually, the new CEO will be selected by the Cleveland Board of Education, along with Major Justin Bibb.

CMSD and its human resources department will play no part in determining the new CEO. 

You can learn more about the search here.