HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Huntsville City School Board narrowed the search for its new leader down to three candidates. Each of them got an opportunity to tell the board what they could be bringing as the next superintendent.

The candidates had their own unique approaches to how they would lead, however, one thing they shared in common was the need for transparency between school leaders and the community.

Each candidate discussed the steps they would take in addressing the achievement gap Huntsville schools are experiencing in part due to the loss of learning during the pandemic.

Bren Elliot was the first to be interviewed. The North Carolina native spoke with the board about the need for transparency between school leaders and the community.

Elliot says a top priority for a superintendent should be providing students with the best possible education.

“The main duty of the superintendent is to ensure that every student that are a part of their school district is receiving a high-quality education so that they’re able to reach the hopes and dreams that that student and their families have for them and their future,” Elliot said.

As the current interim Huntsville City Schools superintendent, Clarence Sutton Jr. discussed the importance of getting students career ready as early as elementary school.

With a teacher shortage facing the state, Sutton says he recognizes creating a happy environment where teachers can thrive in something he says could keep them in Huntsville.

“The number one resource for any student is qualified passionate teachers, our job is to retain, hire and give them the support they need to stay here in Huntsville City Schools,” Sutton told News 19.

As for the final candidate, Jermaine Dawson spoke with the board about the significance of being available as a leader. Dawson highlighted the importance of getting to know both teachers and students on an individual level.

However, as the possible new leader of Huntsville City Schools, he says safety would be his top priority.

“From having safety bubbles in the schools to ensuring that we have a strong safety plan threat assessments the number one responsibility for a superintendent to ensure the safety and there’s a lot of different ways to do that,” Dawson said.

The Huntsville City School Board will make their final evaluations and vote on the next superintendent during a meeting on Tuesday, June 13th. The board has a form that is available on their website and they welcome the public’s feedback on the candidates.