Does Cheryl Atkinson leave Ohio and begin her tenure in DeKalb already at a disadvantage because of the 6-3 vote today by the school board to hire her as the district’s new leader?
Boards members Nancy Jester, Don McChesney and Pamela Speaks opposed hiring the 30-year veteran who now leads the Lorain city schools in Ohio. Jester and McChesney had released long public statements a few weeks ago expressing concern over her track record in Lorain.
As one poster wrote this morning after the board vote: Is 6 to 3 the kind of ringing endorsement that SACS is looking for? A 6 to 3 vote on a superintendent from a dubious-at-best little school system (one high school). I just mop the floors in one of our big high schools here in DeKalb. I am not known to be a scholar but I know that I have a lot of common sense, and I am a deacon in my church. I know something about leadership and what moves people. I also know when the pastor is more interested in what is in the collection plate than what is in a man’s heart or what food is on the family’s table. Something is just not right about this superintendent selection. Something in the milk just ain’t clean.
I can’t read anything in anyone’s heart, but I wonder what’s on Atkinson’s mind now that she has to deal with the public doubts conveyed by that split vote.
On other other hand, plenty of Georgia school superintendents glide into office on unanimous ballots by their boards of education and still end up in mortal combat with members. A unanimous vote doesn’t assure successful or even civil relationships in the long run.
Congratulations to Dr. Atkinson. We wish her and the 100,000 students of DeKalb well.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog