Some of the “best and brightest minds in education” are in the running to become the next superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, Board of Education Chairman Courtney English said.
He just won’t say who they are.
English and other members of the Atlanta Board of Education spoke to the North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools at the organization’s monthly meeting at E. Rivers Elementary School on Feb. 26.
The school board members, many of whom are freshly elected, are working to select a new superintendent to take over for current Superintendent Erroll Davis.
English said they are looking for a “truly transformational leader.”
“We are competing with Fortune 500 companies in some cases. We are competing with the president of the United States in some cases,” English said.
English asked for parents to be patient and trust the board. He said he does not intend to introduce candidates to the community for input before a selection is made, mainly because candidates are already working in other positions.
“We’re going to steal somebody,” English said. “It really is a factor of the caliber of candidates we have.”
Board Member Nancy Meister, who represents the North Atlanta High School Cluster, addressed questions about the future of Sutton Middle School, which is already crowded despite its recent move into the former North Atlanta High School building.
“We realize Sutton is at capacity,” Meister said. “The facility at the old North Atlanta, now Sutton, included some spaces that can be converted to classroom spaces, so we’re looking at that.”
Portable classrooms, or trailers, are also an option, but Meister said it’s not the most popular solution with the superintendent.
“We’re aware of it. We’re addressing it. But there isn’t a solution today,” Meister said.
Board Member Matt Westmoreland updated the organization on the school board’s budget process, which has already begun for the next school year.
Westmoreland said the school board started the budget process early this year, with the goal of finalizing the budget by April 14.
“Our top priority is to make sure as much money as possible is directly touching students. That’s always going to be our goal,” Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland said the board also hopes to do away with furlough days for teachers in this year’s budget. Last year, there were four furlough days.
There will be a public hearing on the budget March 7 at the Atlanta Board of Education’s office downtown. There are also plans to have meetings in each of the districts, including one preliminarily scheduled for the North Atlanta cluster on March 27.