Gov. Nathan Deal plans to announce his selections to replace six suspended DeKalb County Board of Education members on Wednesday, March 13, the governor’s office said.

In a statement released by his office March 12, Deal said a selection panel interviewed about 60 applicants from a field of more than 400. Deal plans to announce during an 11 a.m. press conference March 13 his selections for the replacement board members.

“I am overwhelmed by the extraordinary group of people in DeKalb County who stepped forward to try to help their community,” the governor said in a statement released by his office.

“I greatly appreciate the nominating panel’s hard work and the difficult choices the members faced when narrowing down a field with so many excellent candidates. These individuals have worked with the best interests of DeKalb’s children in mind, and I’m proud of the progress we have made.”

DeKalb County schools’ accreditation was placed on probation in December by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In a report, the accreditation agency cited long-term leadership issues, including fiscal mismanagement, inappropriate micromanagement and intimidation within the district.

“Protecting the opportunities of our youngest generation is a sacred trust,” the governor said in his statement. “I want DeKalb’s parents, students, teachers and homeowners to know it’s a trust I will keep.”

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.