Edmond T. Heatley, Ed.D. is the lone finalist for Clayton County Public Schools superintendent, and according to news reports our Board of Education will vote tonight on whether or not he will be hired..
Aside from being a former marine and holding several degrees, Heatley was trained to run urban school districts at the Broad Superintendents Academy. He brings almost four years experience as superintendent of the Chino Valley Unified School District in California. Heatley was the frontrunner for Nevada’s Washoe County until he bowed out in favor of CCPS. During the meet-and-greet with Clayton residents, Heatley explained he prefers CCPS because he wants to lead an urban district as he’s been trained to do, and live closer to his aging parents.
Heatley’s concern for children was obvious during his meet-and-greet, and pretty much permeated everything he discussed. The worst comments I found on Heatley came from some disappointed Chino parents and students. As a result of Heatley’s recommendation to (and approved by) the Chino BOE, certain schools with low attendance records will be closed due to budget cuts. While their dissatisfaction is understandable, budget cuts in this economy are a given these days.
“I work for the Board,” Heatley told Clayton residents, making it clear that he understands his role. “I don’t give them direction, they give it to me.” He also mentioned his excellent relationship with the Chino BOE, and that shows in the majority of the articles I found. Although they didn’t always agree, Chino BOE members still speak highly of Heatley and felt losing him would hurt their district.
Heatley plans to make CCPS, “…data driven and student centered,” and is in favor of school uniforms. “From a safety standpoint, it’s one of the best things we can do,” he said, adding that uniforms will make it easier to identify who belongs on school property. Heatley wants to work with parents, as well as stakeholders without children, who want to be involved in CCPS. As per the AJC, Heatley’s children will be enrolled in CCPS, something he did not do during his Chino tenure. In addition, Heatley will not bring an entourage of new, higly paid employees with him. He will work with what CCPS already has, and will continue holding community forums.
The Chino district carries over 34,000 students in 36 schools. Heatley currently makes $250,000 a year, and his CCPS salary has not been disclosed.
An unexpected aspect of this meeting was interacting with BOE members afterwards because they asked constituents in attendance what we thought of Heatley – imagine that. Granted the BOE makes the final decision, but it was nice to be asked nonetheless.
Time will eventually tell this tale. But unlike past candidates, based on this meet-and-greet I got the impression/feeling that Heatley cares about students, wants the best for CCPS in general, and that every word he uttered wasn’t a load.
For those who didn’t attend here is a video of Heatley talking to Washoe County. While this is aimed at a different audience, it’s an opportunity to hear from Heatley directly about his accomplishments and some goals are similar to CCPS’ needs. Replays of Heatley’s Clayton meet and greet are supposed to be aired on Comcast’s channel 24.
What do you think of Edmond Heatley? So far the worst I’ve heard from residents is that he’s not from Georgia, which could be a good thing since he wouldn’t be obligated to anyone. Could he be a good fit for CCPS? How would you ask your BOE member to vote?