DeKalb School Board Appoints Michael Thurmond Interim Superintendent

The BOE narrowly approved Dr. Cheryl Atkinson's separation agreement with a vote of 5-4.

The DeKalb County Board of Education voted Friday 7-2 to appoint former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to serve as interim superintendent. He will be the temporary replacement of Cheryl Atkinson, who has resigned after 16 months on the job.

The board also voted 5-4 to approve Dr. Atkinson's separation agreement which gives her a six-figure payout.

“We are delighted Mr. Thurmond has agreed to serve as our interim superintendent,” said Board Chairman Eugene Walker in a statement. “Our school district is facing significant challenges, and we need a leader with a strong record of making fundamental changes in large, complex organizations.

“The board is committed to working with Mr. Thurmond,” said Jim McMahan, vice-chair of the DeKalb board. “Under his leadership, we will work to ensure that every child in DeKalb has equal access to a quality education.”

“I welcome the opportunity to serve the 99,000 students of the DeKalb
County Schools,” said Thurmond. “By all of us coming together
across our county - parents, employees, citizens and businesses North and
South - there's no limit to what we will accomplish for our schoolchildren.”

At the same time, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis issued a statement expressing his concern about recent events surrounding the county's school board.

"I am compelled to act on this urgent matter," Ellis said. "In the next few days, key stakeholders and I will convene a meeting of academic, business, community, and political leaders to fully discern what actions the school board is taking to remedy the issues articulated by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council (SACS) and the Georgia State Board of Education. We will also explore how best to assist in the process."

Sally February 13, 2013 at 01:26 AM
He has already disappointed me. Greatly. Today I hear that he is trying to put off this state board meeting about whether or not the board members will be ousted. WOW! Huge Disappointment!!! HUGE!!!
Brookhaven Maven February 13, 2013 at 02:45 AM
To Sally at 9:19am Sunday -- We should do everything we can to force our current state leadership to allow us to have a separate charter school system for Dunwoody / Chamblee / Brookhaven. I have been rallying everyone I can to petition their state legislators to pass enabling legislation to make this happen. Please join me in talking to your neighbors, friends and associates to promote this idea. Thanks! -- The Maven
Brookhaven Maven February 13, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Sally -- In case you didn't see it --- http://dunwoody.patch.com/articles/local-lawmaker-plans-bill-for-a-dunwoody-school-system If it's good enough for Dunwoody children, why don't Taylor, Jacobs, Millar et al do it for our wonderful Brookhaven kids? -- The Maven
HamBurger February 13, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Ms. BM, Rep. Mike Jacobs, Rep Tom Taylor, and Sen. Fran Millar have been too busy creating new cities for an elite group of clueless people instead of attending to the business of ALL of their constituents and using their influence to reform DeKalb County government and DCSS. Funny how folks are under the impression that a new layer of government will insulate them from DeKalb County, yet they remain in DeKalb County. Why not reform what you have? Pay attention to Brookhaven. All is not as it was sold. And, there are consequences for city council actions. Please pass the yellow mustard!
Roger That February 13, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Thurmond on WSBTV Tuesday Feb 12, "I know I don't have the qualifications......" Hmmmm.... hmm... uh....


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