FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rodney Jenkins, Public Information Officer Rodney_Jenkins@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.gov
DeKalb County, August 12, 2011 -- The DeKalb Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection of a finalist for superintendent of the school district, Cheryl L. H. Atkinson, Ed. D. The board will formally install the new superintendent in a public vote following a 14-day waiting period consistent with state law.
“Dr. Atkinson is a highly respected and experienced educational leader with a proven record of lifting academic achievement in Lorain, Ohio, and in other districts where she has served,” said Thomas Bowen, chairman of the DeKalb Board of Education. “This was a long process, but in the end we are confident that we have the best candidate to move our district forward. The board is pleased to have her serve the children of our district.”
Dr. Atkinson is currently superintendent of the Lorain, Ohio school district, where she put in place “Success for All,” an academic reform model credited with raising Ohio Achievement Test scores in reading for all elementary and middle schools. She is also credited with effectively applying new technology to schools such as an electronic grade reporting system that gives parents digital access to their children’s grades and academic progress, as well as issuing E-books to some students in place of textbooks.
Dr. Atkinson has served school districts with enrollments ranging from 7,500 to 165,000 students as deputy superintendent in Kansas City, Mo.; associate and regional superintendent in Charlotte, N.C., and associate superintendent in Charleston, S.C. Dr. Atkinson holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
As the Associate Superintendent with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, Dr. Atkinson established procedures and processes to more effectively monitor overall student achievement at all levels. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is an urban district serving 127,000 students (45.8% free/reduced lunch). The district has a total of 148 schools (91 elementary, 32 middle, 17 high schools, and 6 alternative schools).
“My passion is to give all children, regardless of background or circumstances, a quality public school education,” said Dr. Atkinson. She will visit the district within the next 14 days to be introduced to parents and the DeKalb community.
The DeKalb Board also wants to thank Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson for her untiring efforts in stabilizing the district. She has successfully laid the groundwork for a new superintendent by developing and implementing strategies to lift academic standards, improve ethics, transparency and business operations. Mrs. Tyson will continue to serve in a senior advisory role to ensure a smooth transition for the new superintendent.