Reading's new superintendent 'impressed' during district visit

Published: Apr 08 2012 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 09 2012 06:48:38 PM EDT
Carlinda Purcell
READING, Pa. -

The Reading School District's new superintendent came to town Monday to talk about her vision for the future.

"I am impressed," said Carlinda Purcell. "I see wonderful opportunities."

Purcell told reporters during a news conference that her vision includes re-branding the school district's image.

She also talked about building a curriculum that would make Reading students as competitive as possible in the 21st century.

But some said this could be a challenge given the school district is currently facing a $53 million deficit.

"I will not allow not having money to be an excuse for not serving our children," said Purcell.

To tackle the school's budget deficit, Purcell said she's willing to strategically look for money.

"I've identified some people who are strong grant writers, and who have received millions of dollars for school districts," said Purcell. "So, I want to ask them to come to the table in mid-June to begin to talk about helping us to identify funding sources and resources that are out there."

Purcell said she's also looking to create a superintendent's council on students to addressed a number of student concerns, including violent behavior.

"Anytime a child does not feel safe to come to school, and the adults or the teachers don't feel safe, we got to address that," Purcell said.