Michael Thurmond to Helm Dekalb Schools

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    The DeKalb County Board of Education has appointed former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to serve as the district’s interim superintendent.

    He replaces Dr. Cheryl Atkinson who left the job by “mutual agreement” with the board.

    Atkinson will get severance pay of $114,583 through June 30. Michael Thurmond officially took the interim superintendent position this week with a one year contract and a salary of $275,000.

    Thurmond, who is credited with outstanding leadership at both the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), and the Georgia Department of Labor, said last week, “I’m here today because I’m interested in the future of public education in DeKalb County and I came and offered my support to help the DeKalb School Board overcome the challenges that were faced.”

    The most pressing challenge facing DeKalb Schools now is the possible loss of its accreditation as the system has been placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

    Next week, DeKalb School Board members go before the State Board of Education for a hearing to decide whether or not to recommend to Gov. Nathan Deal to suspend the DeKalb Board under
    Georgia law 20-2-73(a).

    The law is put into effect when a school district finds itself on probation, or one step away from loss of system accreditation because of
    poor board governance.

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