Clayton school chief resigns today

Dr. Edmund Heatley resigned today

Dr. Edmond Heatley resigned today

Breaking news from Clayton County where controversial schools Superintendent Dr. Edmond Heatley resigned effective the end of next month.

The Clayton school board released a statement that an interim will be appointed to take Heatley’s place. “School has just begun and our primary focus will remain providing the students of Clayton County with a high quality education during this transition,” said chairwoman Pam Adamson. ”We are grateful to Dr. Heatley for his service and wish him the best.”

Heatley, the eighth Clayton County superintendent since 2000, was not fired. “He still has the confidence and respect of the majority of the board,” said Pam Adamson, who met with Heatley Wednesday morning regarding his decision.

It was apparent that Heatley wanted out of Clayton.

Heatley, who came to Clayton County in 2009, had interviewed for the superintendency in Dallas earlier this summer. The Texas job was open because the former Dallas school chief Michael Hinojosa left a year ago to become Cobb County Schools’ top administrator. Heatley did not get the Dallas job.

According to a July AJC story about Heatley:

He has been credited with helping the 50,000-student system regain full accreditation after years of struggle. His initial contract paid him a $250,000 base salary. His contract now runs through June 30, 2014. Calls to Heatley, who rarely gives news interviews, were not returned Tuesday.

Despite Clayton County’s accreditation rebound, Heatley’s tenure in the district has been marked by distractions and tough decisions. During recent budget talks, the idea of eliminating sports and fine arts programs in middle schools was floated, and several unfilled jobs were eliminated.

“A lot of people have issues for the superintendent, but that is par for the course, ” said Rex resident and school board watcher Larry O’Keeffe. “I am not as happy as I was, because the school system has become less open and transparent.”

In February, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the school system spent upward of $40,000 to investigate rumors of an inappropriate relationship involving Heatley and a school district employee. The investigation was launched by the school board without public discussion or a public vote and coincided with districtwide budget cuts, which included layoffs, delays in key purchases and a shorter academic calendar.

Heatley repeatedly denied the accusation and the costly investigation uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

146 comments Add your comment

Pride and Joy

August 29th, 2012
3:25 pm

Wasn’t he also the super that demanded the school be closed early every Wednesday despite strong objections from the parents?

Bernie

August 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

This is more Proof that God answers prayers……This is the best thing that could have ever happened for the parents and children of Clayton County so far this school Year.

Clayco Resident

August 29th, 2012
4:00 pm

Good riddance! I don’t think that he realized that his title was Superintendent Heatly not King Heatly. I can appreciate his role in regaining the county’s accreditation but it seems as if the power went to his head. Now we have to concentrate on cleaning up the mess that he’s leaving behind. I hope that his BOE minions follow him.

Tom

August 29th, 2012
4:16 pm

Did the best he could with a dysfunctional board. I think average tenure for a Superintendent in Georgia is 3 years

Beatings will Continue until Morale Improves.

August 29th, 2012
4:17 pm

Victor Hill for Superintendent…

only in Clayton County…

Elaine

August 29th, 2012
4:17 pm

First Victor Hill’s back…now this…what else can go wrong in Clayton County??? All we need to to lose accreditation again…then the rest of the county will turn into a ghost town! Ugh!

Concern Parent

August 29th, 2012
4:22 pm

See ya would’nt want a be ya. Praise God

Ellenwood

August 29th, 2012
4:24 pm

@Clayco Res – How do you know the power went to his head?? People kill me being overly judgement of people in leadership. If anyone chooses to be better at it…APPLY!!!!

Ms Clayton county

August 29th, 2012
4:24 pm

I hope when the school district chooses another superintendent, they will investigate the person. The board should not pick this next superintendent … The people of Clayton county should vote

Ellenwood

August 29th, 2012
4:25 pm

**overly judgemental**

Scott

August 29th, 2012
4:29 pm

If you live in that cess pool known as Clayton county you have bigger things to concern yourself with then the Superintendent seeking greener pastors. $10 bucks says he doesnt even live in that laughing stock of county.

Yo

August 29th, 2012
4:30 pm

Didn’t know the man but if he wants out of Clayton County, who can blame him? Talk about not only a dysfunctional board but a dysfunctional county. It’s simple people, if you want a good or great school system, parents have to help and hold their children accountable. He’s leaving probably because he’s the only one interested in the welfare of the children.

pioneer

August 29th, 2012
4:30 pm

Sounds like posters prefer the embarrassment of not meeting minimal accreditation standards to strong leadership. Leave them in their misery.

Richard Braswell

August 29th, 2012
4:30 pm

Say, how about inviting Glen Singleton to be the Super. He’s perfect and what a show that would be. Singleton could actually apply his concepts first hand, think of the possibilities, education geared for the mindset of African American children. He is the man.

Centrist

August 29th, 2012
4:32 pm

Suddenly resigning at the beginning of a school year sounds suspicious. Not mentioned is a reason or an announcement of accepting another position. There is obviously more to this story which is being withheld for the time being.

Chris

August 29th, 2012
4:33 pm

@ Scott yes he does and his kids attended Jonesboro High School. Where do u live Scott? All counties have there own problems let’s talk about yours.

Chris

August 29th, 2012
4:35 pm

Cess pool I bet some of your family members got problems the world got problems. I’m sick of people acting like Clayton county is the only county with problems watch the news and your county will be on there to ………

Yo

August 29th, 2012
4:35 pm

Hey, here’s an idea, I hear Stacii Jae Johnson, The Special Events Director for Atlanta, is looking for a job. Clayton County deserves someone of her caliber.

joe in tucker

August 29th, 2012
4:36 pm

I hear Beverly Hall is looking for a job… sigh…

Yo

August 29th, 2012
4:38 pm

@joe in tucker – beverly hall, GOOD ONE! lol.hahahahahaha

jp

August 29th, 2012
4:39 pm

Richard why is it African American ? Why not just American? Does race always have to be a part of discussions.?

Chris

August 29th, 2012
4:40 pm

@ Pioneer he wanted to let the kids leave school early on Wed. Parents do have to work and that is a inconvenience, not to mention kids need to be in school. They get enough breaks during the school year for teachers to plan ,etc imo. I do think teachers need a good pay raise though

lisajohnson1211

August 29th, 2012
4:41 pm

Thank you GOD! Hit the road “Jack” and don’t ya come back no more… no more… no more….no more! And please take your other cronies with you!

Smarty

August 29th, 2012
4:44 pm

It’s time for the state to re-district the Hartsfield – Jackson Airport out of Clayton County and let them
go it alone. Clayton County in the last few years just become a huge embarrasment of Metro Atlanta.

mo money

August 29th, 2012
4:44 pm

The CEO of Title Max probabaly has the largest investment in Clayton, maybe that is the guy to use.

Sid

August 29th, 2012
4:47 pm

hey Ms Clayton County…I’ll tell you in 2 words why the people of Clayton county shouldn’t be allowed to vote on the next superintendent….Victor Hill. You can’t be trusted to make a well informed decision.

Maureen Downey

August 29th, 2012
4:47 pm

@To all. Not sure why losing a school chief — which happens routinely nationwide where the average tenure for urban superintendents is now 3.6 years — means that Clayton is either a failure or an embarrassment. There is a competitive market for school chiefs.
Maureen

Yolanda

August 29th, 2012
4:48 pm

This is simply “Christmas” in August for the students, parents, and employees of CCPS. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

Chris

August 29th, 2012
4:49 pm

Yall dont live here and dont even know the ins and out of the every day business so move to dekalb and fulton where they kill sheriff elects and let people shoot up courthouses. Clayton aint that bad………..

J

August 29th, 2012
4:52 pm

Chris, it’s a fact that clayton county is one of the counties in GA w/ the most problems. You can get mad about it if you want or you can do something to make the county a better place to live.

DT in ATL

August 29th, 2012
4:52 pm

The residents of Clayton County should elect the next superintendent. The same residents that re-elected Victor Hill as Sheriff despite the fact he is not qualified to take office (yet). Give the guy credit for helping ClayCo regain its accreditation back. Only in ClayCo.

Andy

August 29th, 2012
4:53 pm

Someone burn that god forsaken county down and start over again.

Scott

August 29th, 2012
4:54 pm

You see Chris MANY of us lived in Clayton county for years and watched first hand as it was literally transformed over night into a national embarassment and YES as cesspool. Clayton county once was a decent place to live and raise a family and surprise, surprise had good schools with involved parents and you rarely saw any type of violent crime occur there. So yeah I left along with literally every other neighbor we had so dont ever try to tell me I dont know Clayton county. I lived there for the first 29 years of my life and saw its demise first had. Oh and there are PLENTY of places were NONE of the foolishness or Clayco occur in the metro Atlanta. I know reside in one of them, Kennesaw.

J

August 29th, 2012
4:56 pm

I’ve been in meetings dealing with elected clayton county officials (Heatley one of them), and those meetings did no good for the children what-so-ever. It was all “what’s in it for me”. Too many people higher up in Clayton only care about themselves and not making the community a better place to live. Your problems start with the people you elect to represent you. case in point, your newly elected sheriff.

Maureen Downey

August 29th, 2012
4:56 pm

@To all, If Clayton wanted to think outside the box, it could consider Shekema Silveri, a Milken Award winning teacher from Clayton who is in the process of trying to start a charter school next year. She is young, dynamic and a creative thinker.
Here is my interview with her after she won the Milken award last year

Maureen

lisajohnson1211

August 29th, 2012
4:57 pm

Hi Maureen, as a CCPS employee… I can assure you that he is both…a FAILURE and an EMBARRESSMENT! I am just happy he is leaving and wish it was effective today. Good riddance Ed!

Andy

August 29th, 2012
4:58 pm

Shortly after they announced the ‘96 Olympics, Clayton County quickly went down hill and the Ctran buses were the final nail in the coffin.

Voting IQ

August 29th, 2012
5:00 pm

@ Sid, thanks for pointing out the obvious . . . that the people of Clayton County shouldn’t be allowed to vote for anything after they voted Victor Hill back into office – talk about 10,000+ morons . . .

Chris

August 29th, 2012
5:01 pm

@ Scott Lived here just as long but dont think Kennesaw don’t have problems they do. Its evey where people are corrupt in politics and in every day life kennesaw isn’t exempt.

Mike

August 29th, 2012
5:02 pm

Sid you’re no lying brother. What were they thinking. By the way, can we please have a superintendent from Georgia for a change. You know, someone who has a vested interest in the community. I can’t believe there’s no one in the whole state who can’t do the job. Everytime we hiree someone from out of state they run off.

joe in tucker

August 29th, 2012
5:03 pm

@Chris – I can only guess by your lack of punctuation that you must have been educated there also.

J.T.

August 29th, 2012
5:06 pm

I’m actually glad Heatley is leaving. Why? He removed the school buses from certain schools, he wanted to inconvience a lot of parents by allowing childrens to get out of school early. I do understand he has kids enrolled in the Clayton County School system but, they are older kids so therfore he does not feel the effect that this has on other parents. I often travel during the time that the elementary school(Harper) lets out, the children dash across the street. Hopefully whomso ever fills his seat will da a better job and really consider the welfare and education of clayton county students.

Tom(Independent Viet Vet,USAF)

August 29th, 2012
5:06 pm

Perhaps Victor Hill(newly elected Sheriff) could do both jobs after his court case is over?

Bloodbike

August 29th, 2012
5:08 pm

Dr. Heatley had some serious issues that were of his making and also dealt with his inability to get his admin to follow him willingly. He had a very hard job that made him the center of a hurricane, his problem was and is his leadership skills. He never graps the idea that you can’t deal with civilians as if they are military minded. You can’t give orders without at least explaining in some detail whay you are trying to accomplish and why. The idea of “do as I say and not as I do” is dead. You have to be able to get your people to follow you by providing a clear path that they have buy in power too, not beat them over the head with the notion that your in charge and most do as I say. I pray that Clayton County stops looking for talent outside of Ga and hires someone that knows the culture. Someone willing to listen and take suggestions without feeling threaten.

gunga din

August 29th, 2012
5:10 pm

this is what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum

Andy

August 29th, 2012
5:12 pm

Doesn’t Clayton County have probation officers in the schools? That’s just terrific.

drsoul

August 29th, 2012
5:12 pm

Certain comments here reflect why Clayton County cannot keep and support quality people….you let your county run down and when someone who can (and did) restore your failures, you criticize the very person… you are a sad county who does not like discipline or strong people who know what to do..

Chris

August 29th, 2012
5:13 pm

@ Joe as long as you can read you get the point we aren’t getting graded smart A**

Chris

August 29th, 2012
5:13 pm

T_B

August 29th, 2012
5:14 pm

Is Clayton County in a race with Detroit, Chicago and D. C. to become the worst? Time will tell.