Friday, August 12, 2011

Another superintendent finalist is announced


CONTACT: Rodney Jenkins, Public Information Officer
678-676-0786 Office
404-486-3710 Cellular

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.


LaLaMeeka Chadwalli said...

At least she's a "real" doctor.

Shoes Keep Dropping said...

She was one of the candidates for APS.

Anonymous said...

This is weird that it was announced on a Friday night. Seems like a real news dump. Why hide it?

Anonymous said...

Great....we get APS leftovers while belcher sleeps happily at night knowing he ruined our chances at Dr. Cox.

Will this new super have a spine to take down the friends and family program's.

Tragically I am wondering if she's just old ideas in a newer bag.

The Deal said...

Will have to read more on her, but I am pleased she has real degrees from actual universities. She also has had experience as an Associate Super in a large school district (Charlotte).

Rather damning that this site exists:

And this one:

Q&A with her here:

Anon said...

Cox wasn't ever coming. She turned down Cobb (a much better system) as well. Move on.

However, this is disappointing.

(This year's report card isn't out yet.)

(The citizens of her community had so little confidence in the system that a tax levy failed -- making a state takeover for financial reasons a possibility.)

Anon said...

In fairness, here is a breakdown on improvement in Lorain

The question everyone needs to ask the Board members is did you reject candidates who had better indicators of academic success and why?

Remember you can use the link on the front page of this blog to email the entire board at once!

Anon said...

It is clear that the Board is trying to spin the fact that she is superintendent of such a small district by listing her experience at Charlotte-Mecklenberg. (Same was true with Cox.)

14 schools and 4 centers

Here are the system's demographics

diverse and poor

pscexb said...

Thanks for sharing your links Anon! From what has been initially shared, it seems as though she meets most of the criteria spelled out by citizens along with the most important one, a track record of instructional success.

Ironic this is the second metro area superintendent with ties to the Charlotte school system. This speaks well for their system is developing and grooming future school leaders. A slight concern in whether she will compete with the Fulton super as they seek out key members of their staff, specifically in the instructinal area.

The internet makes it easier for citizens to vet any candidate. We should remember we will see both good and bad regarding any candidate. She's already been through some vetting locally given she was a former APS candidate. I look forward to learning more about her and her instructional and organizational philosophies in the coming days.

pscexb said...

Also have to give the Board some credit for taking a page from the Cobb and Fulton playbook in naming one finalist. While previously bringing 3 candidates gave the illusion of an 'open and transparent' review and selection process, in hindsight it probably caused more problems.

I also question whether Cox was coming and agree we should move on.

Anonymous said...

Does she belong to a sorority?

Anonymous said...

@TheDealWhat? This tiny school system has a blog too?

They appear to have similar issues.

"Take a look at the declining trends in enrollment and the skyrocketing cost of the administration in Lorain City Schools. Administrators don’t teach kids, teachers teach kids. When we had 2,200 more students the administration was costing us only $6.9 million. Now it’s costing us $11.3 million with 2,200 less kids. Shouldn’t the trend be parallel with the enrollment trends? Do we need all those chiefs? What exactly are they doing? Cut the current administration to $6.9 million. Administrators are the highest paid school personnel. Most administrators are useless. They do the least and cost the most. Show good faith and do what’s right! Always cut administration first, teachers dead last."

pscexb said...

I offer below as a quick link to the Lorain City School system web page, which provides more information about Dr. Atkinson:

There are several links on this page that provides additional information.

Cerebration said...

Thanks psc - I'll add that link to the new post.

Anonymous said...

Is that the best they can say about her, that she is into ebooks and installed an electronic system to look up grades? That's signs of a good IT, not a good superintentdent. Not a good sign.

Anonymous said...

if shes in a soror...i have no respect for her...

I am getting tired of this self imposed holier than thou courtesty of AKA, DST, and ZPB crap. We dont need to celebrate the anniversaries of sororities in schools.

By the way, Love the DCSS Cloak and Dagger game. It just wouldn't be right to choose a super honestly...

I guess the silver lining is that Beasley isnt going to be it. Hes got us teachers going to new strategy after strategy to get the kids to learn. Its like trying to put a bandaid on a severed limb. We did MI last year and this year were doing DOK. What next year. IDK? Sounds about right because the palace people dont know what is going on in the schools anyway.