Gov. Nathan Deal announced the appointment of a panel to nominate replacements for six vacant seats on the DeKalb County School Board.

After a failed preventive lawsuit, six members have been removed from office by Deal after recommendation from the State Board of Education.

Following a Feb. 21 meeting, the Georgia State Board of Education decided to endorse the suspension of the board members after the school district was put on probation in December and risked losing accreditation.

Deal has selected former DeKalb school board member and current executive director of the Georgia Foundation for Education, Brad Bryant, to serve as liaison to the remaining members of the board and Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond.

“The stakes in this case are high; the future of almost 100,000 students hangs in the balance,” Deal said in a press release. “Therefore, I have accepted the unanimous recommendation of the State Board of Education to suspend six members of the DeKalb school board. I have met with Superintendent Michael Thurmond, and I believe he can play a vital role in getting the system back on track. I look forward to a positive working relationship with Superintendent Thurmond on behalf of the children of DeKalb County.”

Other members of the school board nominating panel include Kenneth Mason, Chairman of the State Board of Education; Garry W. McGiboney, the Associate Superintendent of Policy and Charter Schools at the Georgia Department of Education; James E. Bostic, Jr., the managing director at HEP & Associates, an educational consulting company; Alicia Phillip, President of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; and Sadie Dennard, a region external affairs manager for Georgia Power’s Metro East Region.

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