|DeKalb School Board expected to name Michael Thurmond as superintendent|
|Written by Valerie J. Morgan|
The DeKalb County School Board is expected on Friday (Feb. 8) to announce that Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will serve as interim superintendent to replace Dr. Cheryl Atkinson.
Thurmond, 58, will head the district as the board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement. The details of his contract and his duties will be announced on Friday.
Atkinson's separation agreement,now posted on the School Board's web site,ends speculation that she is leaving.On Common Ground News was the first to report that Atkinson was on her way out, following several tips that secret negotiations were under way with the School Board to replace her.
The board and Atkinson's attorney have worked out an agreement that allows her to leave Friday and pays her $114,583 through June 30. The agreement states that Atkinson and the board have "mutually determined it is in the best interest for the district" for her to separate from the district. No other details are stated.
Atkinson was hired in September 2011 with a $275,000 annual contract.
The board is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. on Friday to formally announce Atkinson's departure. Thurmond will take over immediately.
By law, the district must have a superintendent in place to run the ddistrict. Someone must be named immediately when a superintendent leaves.
Thurmond will have several issues to deal with as soon as he steps aboard. The 9-member school board goes before the State board of Education for the Feb. 21 hearing concerning the district's probationary status. The district's accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, has cited the district with ineffective government, declining student performance and potentially millions in missing money.