|Two possible candidates considered for DeKalb superintendent|
|Tuesday, 05 February 2013 16:21 | Written by Valerie J. Morgan|
The DeKalb County School Board may be considering former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond for the interim job as schools’ superintendent, as well as a schools’ administrator who worked in Clayton and Rockdale counties.
Thurmond, 58, has said he wants to do whatever he can to assist the DeKalb School District. He met with the School Board on Monday to offer his help, but he said he could not confirm if he is being courted to temporarily replace the embattled Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, who reportedly is negotiating her departure with legal counsel.
Valya Lee, a former assistant superintendent for Clayton County Schools and Rockdale County Public Schools, may be another candidate the board is considering. She was spotted leaving the district’s headquarters on Monday afternoon. Efforts to reach Lee today for comment were unsuccessful.
Lee served as Clayton’s assistant superintendent in 2009. She was appointed Clayton’s interim superintendent after John Thompson was ousted in the wake of Clayton trying to regain its accreditation. Under Lee’s leadership as interim superintendent, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools restored the district's accreditation on a two-year, probationary basis. Lee previously served as Rockdale’s assistant superintendent of student support services.
Despite widespread speculation that Atkinson is on her way out, school board members remained tight-lipped about the series of executive sessions that they have held in the last two weeks. None of the nine members have offered public comment on the secret discussions, and they have even slipped out of side doors to avoid reporters who were waiting to speak with them at district headquarters.
Dr. Eugene Walker, who chairs the School Board, reached at home today would not comment on Atkinson’s status. He said, however, that a national search would have to be conducted for a permanent replacement of a superintendent. He said the board is focusing on getting the district off probation by meeting the recommendations outlined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Board members must go before the state Board of Education on Feb. 21.
“We are quietly, swiftly and conscientiously looking at assessing what we must do to successfully implement those 11 required (SACS) actions,” Walker said. “We are working to position ourselves to address this.”
The DeKalb NAACP executive committee is scheduled to meet this evening with the school board to discuss the SACS report.
Media outlets must credit On Common Ground News editor Valerie Morgan as the source for this story.