The tough stuff in mid-Michigan's largest district is, in large part, why Dr. T.C. Wallace, Jr. is on the superitendent short list.
"It's the challenge in Lansing that I look forward to," says Wallace."Finance, facilities, enrollment...I've had some practice at those issues."
He has a 30 year history in 8 districts. All of them are urban, including his current district in Mount Clemens, Michigan where he boasts of doing the near impossible.
"No one gave us a chance to pass a bond," he told a community forum Tuesday.
He passed a $70 million millage and improved achievement scores too.
He suggests more teacher planning, less reliance on the MEAP, and a candid discussion with high schoolers on the issue of closed or open lunches.
His candor has impressed the school board in the now two times they'll met.
"He seems to mean what he says," Guillermo Lopez says. "He has a way of communicating that."
For Wallace it's the enthusiasm he says he saw on this second interview that has him already talking like Lansing's home.
"If I could replicate the atmosphere...energy, enthusiasm that I've seen in the magnet programs across the board then we'd dramatically improve what we do as a school district."
The second candidate for the job--James Coolican--will visit the district for a similar all day interview on Thurday. Dr. E. Sharon Banks will step down at the end of the school year.