A DeKalb School Board member said at the last school board meeting, “[The Emory Lavista Parent Council] wants the board to understand the history of Superintendent searches in DeKalb. All of which have gone extremely well from what I’ve heard.” This #ThrowBack Thursday will pay homage to our previous Superintendents and the searches that brought them to us.
Current Superintendent Search Status
At the April 1 2014 Board Meeting, the board announced their plans to commence a superintendent search. The current Superintendent, Michael Thurmond, intends on completing the 2014-2015 school year, and the new Superintendent will start sometime in the summer of ’15.
At the September 8 2014 Board Meeting, we learned that on August 21 2014 an RFP for a national search firm was issued. The proposal deadline was Sept 16. Between now and the Oct 6 board meeting, the school board will conduct interviews with a list of finalist search firms picked by the administration.
#ThrowBack Thursday – Superintendents & Searches
2004: Superintendent Johnny Brown is replaced with Dr. Crawford Lewis with no formal Superintendent search.
2007: Midst the racketeering and fraud, SACS fully accredits DeKalb Schools declaring, “Effective leadership at all levels”. Superintendent Crawford Lewis is subsequently fired and charged with racketeering and theft.
2007-2011: DeKalb Schools is run by Lewis’ senior administration.
2011: At the behest of SACS, DeKalb Schools begins a new Superintendent search.
The search for a new Superintendent, according to Don McChesney, is “the most arduous and difficult task I dealt with while on the Board”. The original search criteria, as McChesney goes on to say, was a superintendent with a track record of raising student achievement and removing central office bloat.
The board offered Dr. Lillie Cox a contract. That effort was thwarted by members of the board, according to 11 alive, “after details of her negotiations, including her requests for vacation time, severance and salary, were leaked to the media.”
Aug 2011: In the end, the board majority “lost focus on the students”. The board brought back Dr. Atkinson, whom they had passed on earlier. You can read letters to the public from McChesney and Nancy Jester about their thoughts on that decision.
Dec 2012: A lawsuit is filed against DeKalb Schools, “[accussing] the school system of violating the state open records law in failing to release Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson’s text messages”.
Feb 2013: DeKalb School Board approves by a vote of 5-4, a separation agreement that pays Atkinson $115K to leave.
Facing removal by the Governor, the board skips a formal Superintendent search and on the same day votes (7-2) to bring on Michael Thurmond as interim superintendent until a permanent Superintendent is found. The AJC reports, “Thurmond said the search for a permanent superintendent would begin immediately and he would leave as soon as one is found.”
Why Thurmond and whose idea was it? Marshall Orson said, in the same AJC article, ” he’s the one who brought up Thurmond’s name”. He had seen Thurmond speaking publicly and in small groups over the years, and was impressed. Thurmond’s lack of a track record in education or any educational experience at all “seemed an asset”, said Orson.
Sep 2014: The process of selecting a permanent Superintendent has begun. The new Superintendent should take office in the Summer of 2015.
Superintendent Search Docs
Search Process Timeline for 2014-2015
- Options To Address E-SPLOST Budget Issues
- FY2020 – Tentative Budget – No Raise For Teachers
- Austin Elementary in the Crier
- Jester Community Town Hall
- Naming – New Elementary School in Doraville
- First Amendment At DeKalb Schools
- E-SPLOST Budget Overruns and Projects on Hold
- Old Austin Elementary School – Need Input
- Gym Floor Space By High School
- 1,000 More Seats Are Coming to Dunwoody High School
- Employee Compensation Update – March 30, 2019
- Expected 2019 Graduation Rate
- State Attorney General Not A Fan of Mini Sessions
- New Visitor and Volunteer Policy
- Call For Independent Auditor and Ethics Officer
- Employee Compensation Update – Feb 27, 2019
- Procurement Assessment Indicates Fraud at DeKalb Schools
- Enrollment Forecasting – How Does That Work
- Smaller Schools Are Better Schools
- DeKalb Schools Board Public Retreat
- Need Input – New Salary Schedules
- News Flash – Compensation Letter
- News & Updates – 2/5/2019
- Building Additions Vs Redistricting & Consolidating
- Architect’s Preliminary Report Chamblee Charter HS Building Additions
- Questions – New Teacher Salary Schedule
- Chamblee Cluster 7-Year Enrollment Forecasts
- Announcement – Compensation & Classification Salary Adjustments
- Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff
- Chamblee Redistricting Superintendent Recommendation
- Dunwoody 7-Year Enrollment Forecasts
- 2019 Salary Schedules And Comparison
- New Step Structures for DeKalb Teachers
- 2018 CCRPI
- Chamblee Redistricting Options – Meeting 3
- College Admissions 101
- Graduation Schedule – DeKalb Schools Class of 2019
- DeKalb Schools 2018 CCRPI Scores
- Visitor and Volunteer Policy – Part II
- Chamblee Redistricting Options – Meeting 2
- Make Chamblee Charter HS Better Not Bigger
- Free Speech … For Some At DeKalb Schools … Part II
- DeKalb Schools Visitor and Volunteer Policy
- DeKalb Schools 2018-2019 Calendar
- Make Lakeside HS Better Not Bigger
- DeKalb Schools 2018 Graduation Rates
- Redistricting For Schools in Chamblee & Brookhaven
- News & Updates – 8/30/2018
- Delay in New Austin ES Opening
- School Readiness Report 2018-2019
- GOP Governor Runoff – Kemp has the Mo
- DeKalb Teachers Get a 2.5% Raise And Start Stepping
- July 2018 – New And Open Principal Report
- Chamblee German Teacher Controversy
- June 2018 – New And Open Principal Report
- Dr. Donnie Davis – New Peachtree Charter MS Principal
- TSA & Annexation – Legal Update
- School Councils Are Now Principal Advisory Councils
- City of Brookhaven Not a Fan of Briarcliff HS Site
- Support for DCSD Bus Drivers
- DeKalb Schools FY 2019 Preliminary Budget
- DeKalb Bus Driver Sick Out
- Location of New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
- Where to Build the New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
- Policy Input – Magnet Students Participate in Sports
- Dunwoody HS Trailer Park
- Metal Detectors at YOUR School
- Building Additions – Project Plan and Schedule
- Student Protests Wed – The Plan – County by County
- School Safety – What's the Plan?
- News & Updates – 2/23/2018
- DeKalb Schools New Hires
- Mega High School Construction Update
- Virtual Learning Make Up Days
- Adequate Space Requirements For Mega High Schools
- Student Chromebooks – Update
- Survey – Making Up Days Lost to Inclement Weather
- Lakeside HS Council Not A Fan of the Building Additions
- DeKalb Schools Make Up Days
- DeKalb Schools 2018 – 2020 Calendar
- Which DeKalb Schools Are Beating The Odds
- Protesting Cheerleaders at DHS – The Whole Story
- 2018-2020 Calendar Options
- Emergency Weather – What's The Plan?
- Atlanta & Atlanta Public Schools Annexing DeKalb
- Kids Doc on Wheels Medical Van
- DeKalb Schools 2017 Turnaround, Priority & Focus Schools
- Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremonies Schedule
- 2018-2020 Calendar Update
- DeKalb Turnaround Eligible Schools Trends 2015-2017
- DeKalb Schools – Free Speech….For Some?
- Adding Classrooms is Only Part of the Soluion
- DeKalb Schools Enrollment Capacity Data
- Concerns about Lakeside HS Expansion
- DeKalb Schools 2017 CCRPI Trends
- DeKalb Schools Extends Days in November
- 2017 DeKalb Graduation Rates By High School & Demographic
- Emory Annexation and DeKalb County Schools
- DeKalb Schools – Students Kneel During National Anthem
- Teaching Sexual Behavior Standards At School