Heatley For Superintendent?

Should Edmond Heatley be CCPS next Superintendent?

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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?

53 comments Add your comment

Tired Clayton Resident

June 1st, 2009
8:27 pm


I absolutely agree with your comments!

Good Luck

July 9th, 2009
2:57 pm

I would just like to say good luck to you all. My children went to school under Heatley’s Regime, and I personally saw the climate of the district change under Dr. Heatley – and not for the better. He left a mess here in our community. If he said he wants to have open communication with staff and parents; that’s a lie. Administrators were afraid to speak up, people were fired on a whim, and classes were changed, and sometimes eliminated for high school students to limit their choices. The school board ended up giving him more power than he should have had. Three of the schools were closed for next year, with only 48 hours notice to the parents. The worst part of that, is that these 3 schools were made up of a high percentage of hispanic families who were not given the time to speak up. I believe another commentator eluded to this, although in broken English, which someone in your community basically labeled as uneducated. Our parents are not uneducated, some are non-English speakers; there is a difference.
He was also vacant during some of the most important school board meetings of the year affecting budgets, staffing, and school closures. He did not open a school that was built f or the district within the contract time and has therefore cost our district thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees…and the school will have to open anyway. Was he around for these important decisions…no.
Test scores will go up if the teachers work together with the parents. As a teacher, I find that students always achieve higher grades, and test scores, when the parents take a vested interest in their education. Dr. Heatley will not raise test scores – the students, teachers, and parents in our district did that. Dr. Heatley on brought fear and divisiveness to our community. Believe me, we are all thankful he has moved on.
Good Luck

All that Glitters isn't Gold

April 18th, 2010
2:58 am

“Good Luck” speaks nothing but the true blue truth about your new superintendent, Ed Heatley. He ran administrators crazy with lengthy outside projects plus expecting them to do above and beyond the call of duty to run their school sites to perform. At several meetings with administrators, he clearly put it them that all administrators “worked for him.” ; if they didn’t meet his expectations, “we’d have a conversation.” That meant that you were going to get a personal thrashing from him and possibly lose your job.
He held all of “his” administrators in fear of losing their careers; some who had been very successful that disagreed or had personality conflicts with Heatley were forced to resign. In fact, one principal who was forced to resign due to personal conflicts with this superintendent, went on to another district and got his school out of Program Improvement and was the key note speaker of the county schools of San Bernardino, California.
Heatley ran the Chino school district with unquestioned authority; he’s a very gifted speaker who’s a fast learner and makes quick decisions (that affected also many administrators lives) – but buyer beware, all that glitters isn’t gold!
I wish you the very best of luck with this individual (who was rumored to have been a sniper in the military), he got rid of the administrators he didn’t like; he created the lowest morale the district had ever experienced among administrators, he closed three schools because of supposed savings from these school closures (the legality of which is still in litigation) – by the way, the money saved is not all that significant because the numbers Mr. Heatley ran were over-inflated and “his” associate superintendent of business services resigned that year . . . And if you get a guy by the name of Dr. Ruben Zepeda, he’s Heatley’s close friend. Dr. Zepeda’s favorite saying was “every day is an interview.” Birds of a feather . . . .