Clayton’s Edmond Heatley: His move to Berkeley is on hold. Would Clayton take him back?

Dr. Edmond Heatley

Dr. Edmond Heatley

I am just back from a five-day vacation without Internet and am reading the local news I missed, including the complications around outgoing Clayton Superintendent Edmond Heatley’s hopes to move into the top schools job in Berkeley, Calif.

According to the AJC, Heatley’s chances of becoming superintendent of the 9,400-student district may be in doubt because of  “his alleged opposition to same-sex marriage and his management of the 51,008-student Clayton school system.”

Apparently, community reservations over Heatley increased when, a local online news site, reported that he allegedly backed a resolution supporting Proposition 8 –  which recognizes marriage as being between a man and woman — as superintendent several years back in Chino Valley.

Since its passage in 2008, the California constitutional amendment has been controversial.  Earlier this year, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage was struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case may go to the U.S. Supreme Court, although the high court has yet to take the case. (It is possible a decision from the court to hear the case could come later this month.)

The AJC story quotes a Chino Valley Unified School District spokeswoman saying that the criticisms of Heatley over Proposition 8 are misplaced. “The resolution did not reflect Dr. Heatley’s stance on Proposition 8,” said  spokeswoman Julie Gobin. “It was created by the board member Michael Calta. Dr. Heatley was asked to place a resolution [about Proposition 8] on the agenda. The board member wrote the resolution and gave it to Dr. Heatley.”

( has a lively debate on Heatley’s role with comments from Michael Calta.)

Berkeley school officials now apparently plan to take their time hiring a new school chief, which is surprising since Heatley already resigned his Clayton post, effective in 15 days.

I can’t imagine Clayton rehiring Heatley, who has made it clear he wants to leave the county.

According to the AJC:

The Berkeley board was scheduled next week to vote on whether to offer Heatley a contract. That vote is on hold now.

Berkeley school board president John T. Selawsky on Friday declined to talk, saying, “This is a pending personnel matter.”

Heatley’s last day as Clayton superintendent is Sept. 30. Luvenia Jackson, a retired 30-year Clayton schools educator, was appointed interim superintendent this week by the school board.

While Heatley’s pending new job may be in limbo, Clayton school officials would not speculate on whether Heatley had a possible future here.

“He’s resigned from our position, and as far as I know, he hasn’t indicated a desire to come back and we’ve already hired an interim,” said Clayton school board chair Pam Adamson.

When asked if the district would consider rehiring Heatley, Adamson said, “I don’t have a clue. Anything I’d say right now would be pure speculation. We’ve done what we needed to do, and now things play out.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

21 comments Add your comment


September 16th, 2012
12:53 am

Same-sex marriage is not controversial in Berkeley. A superintendent who opposed equal rights for same-sex couples would be wildly out of step with Berkeley’s community values. The only question is how Berkeley managed to elect a school board with such very poor research skills.

Heatley was already controversial because of his association with the Broad Institute, a billionaire-funded operation that promotes urban superintendents who push privatization and free-market principles for public schools. That’s also incredibly out of touch with Berkeley community values.


September 16th, 2012
9:38 am

No, he’s burned his bridges with Clayton long since. Time to move on. It is funny, however, that it took this long for his past (management practices, shall we call them) to catch up with him. Who did his vetting for the school board out there?

I am guessing since he resigned he is not due a big fat payout from Clayton?

bootney farnsworth

September 16th, 2012
9:57 am

good riddance – bad rubbish

Ron F.

September 16th, 2012
10:00 am

catlady: they don’t call it a “golden parachute” for nothing. I’ll bet he has a nice payout clause in his contract that will force the county to pony up some bucks to get rid of him. His resignation I’m sure was an agreed upon development that won’t hurt his bottom line in the end. I won’t make in a lifetime what Clayton has wasted on former supers just in the years I worked there. I’m sure it won’t be nearly as much as if he were removed by the board, but you can be sure he won’t be hurting.


September 16th, 2012
10:58 am

Should Clayton take him back? Not only NO, but HELL NO.

Clayton (and all the other local school systems) should eliminate the nationwide searches for superintendents. Rarely does it work out.

veteran of many supers

September 16th, 2012
11:01 am

As a long time Clayton County teacher, in my opinion, Heatley is without a doubt the most despised person in the Clayton School system, teachers were dancing in the halsl when they were told he had resigned. If the board were to recind his resignation they would be comitting political suicide in this an election year and the teachers would leave Clayton county at an even faster rate. What Clayton needs is a superintendent who is a team builder and can improve the system instead of someone who leads through intimidation.


September 16th, 2012
12:59 pm

In Marine speak, this soldier would be considered “FUBAR”!


September 16th, 2012
3:52 pm

Heatley in Berkeley? Please. He is the epitome of a rigid, narrow-minded conservative. And a bigot at that. He was a fool to even think he could work in Berkeley. If teachers here in Georgia hated him — and they surely did — just imagine the relationship he’d have with Berkeley teachers. The Berkeley schoolboard really screwed up. All they had to do was interview Clayton’s teachers, principals, students and parents to know that Heatley was an absolute disaster. The Berkeley district taking on Heatley without vetting him is akin to John McCain taking on Sarah Palin withoubproperly vetting her.


September 16th, 2012
6:36 pm

Pam Adamson…do not leave any doubt about taking back Heatley. Your answer to the AJC was “don’t have a clue… pure speculation.” That’s not an answer that would give Clayton County teachers and citizens assurances of level-headed thinking on your part. For once, rational thinking should be the norm here. Luvenia Jackson’s appointment as interim superintendent demonstrates (for ONCE) that this Board of Education is ready to move forward with someone not only familiar with the county, but utilitzes her intelligence for the good of the students and teachers.


September 16th, 2012
6:37 pm

Sorry…misspelled “utilizes”


September 16th, 2012
9:11 pm

From what I know of academic politics, I strongly suspect that someone in Clayton County, who REALLY does not like Heatley and possesses some good research skills, tipped off that online news site about Heatley’s Chino opposition to Proposition 8 as soon as he had definitely resigned.

From Inside The Community

September 17th, 2012
12:15 am

Ed Heatley is no doubt reaping all that he has sown. He has fired CCPS employees without a cause. This is largely frowned upon in The Clayton Community. The Travel & Audit website states that we paid this man $339,000. This is utterly ridiculous! Teachers haven’t received a raise since he came on board, but he hired his wife and children in the district.

If you all only knew all of the lives he has impacted financially based on the mere fact that “I don’t like you and Doug Hendrix doesn’t like you”. Therefore, you must go. And just like that, people lost their jobs, we’re forced to retire or were demoted without a cause; not based on job performance. I heard that he on several occasions stated during principal’s meetings “I will FIRE you without a cause and no questions asked”. I heard that he said to another upper level management personnel during a principal’s meeting “whose job is more important mine or yours?” In a moment of fear, I was told that this Chief said, “yours sir”. He then said “now that’s loyalty.”

On a final note, bye Heatley. You are reaping what you have sown! I wish you and your family farewell.

Heatley hater

September 17th, 2012
7:41 am

Everyone that he and Hendrix fired should join together and file a lawsuite for wrongful termination. My advice, get an attorney that Clayton can’t control! If Heatley is rehired, every employee of Clayton County should walk out “blue flu:) ” and then in November, get rid of every single sitting board member!!!!!

Pack Mule

September 17th, 2012
12:39 pm

One day in administrators’ meeting “Lil Bit” referred to us as “pack mules!” Well, who is the “packing” mule now? You took my job and my livelihood, and did nothing, but my job. You uphold people that do not do theirs all because you all in the same corrupt bed together! You get on your high “pony” using staff as your foot stool. How does it feel to be out of a job? Oh sure we overpaid you, and your wallet matches your mouth – *** But I will take “broke” any day, than to be morally, ethically, and mentally bankrupt. Carma – it’s a beast. Get all those Kappas that you hired to help you now!! Edmond Heatley – you are the weakest link……Good-BYE!


September 17th, 2012
6:10 pm

GREAT… Any educator who believes that straight marriage is the only way to raise a family should NOT be in charge of any system. That close minded bigot thinking needs to go back to 1960. Families come in all shapes and sizes and loving a child is loving a child, sex of the parents should not matter. GOOD FOR CA!!

Dr. John Trotter

September 18th, 2012
12:10 am

I noticed a few days ago that a couple of the newspapers in Berkeley have been quoting me about my thoughts of Edmond Heatley, and I also noticed comments in the newspapers’ blogs. The reporters called me, and I simply told them that of the 12 or so superintendends in Clayton County with whom I have had interactions in the last 30 years, I believed that he was the most despised of all and that the Berkeley United School Board was scraping from the bottom of the barrell if they hired him.

I think that the community and the teachers have just gotten too much negative information on Edmond Heatley. In this electronic age, it’s harder and harder for these so-called “search” firms to pimp their “educational sl-ts” to unsuspecting communities. But, the stupidity of school boards never cease to amaze me.


September 18th, 2012
10:03 am

Sadly enough…I do not trust Pam Adamson, CCPS Board Chair, to do what is morally or ethically right as she is more concerned about Dr. Edmond Heatley and his ” Napoleon Complex” rather than the students she was elected to serve. On several occasions, she has stated that the new superintendent needs to be someone from outside the system. However, I beg to differ as the history of former CCPS superintendents from outside the county…speaks volumes as they get the money, run the county down, and then, vanish.

I want to encourage CCPS faculty, staff, and community to stand up and stand against the thought of rehiring Heatley as well as Pam Adamson’s ill-advised control of the board. The Berkeley faculty, staff, and community should serve as an excellent example of the POWER in numbers and how a superintendent should really be chosen. Let’s mobilize to ensure that during this upcoming election, we let our voices be heard and send the following board members who have let our children and community down and have upheld Heatley and all of his wrongdoings…PACKING:

Pam Adamson (Let the recall begin!)
Ms. Wanda Smith
Ms. Mary Baker
Ms. Ophelia Burroughs


September 18th, 2012
3:20 pm

Back in the day….A good superintendent usually taught some of the teachers that worked for him when they were in school.

Dr. John Trotter

September 19th, 2012
11:03 am

Edmond Heatley has already withdrawn his candidacy for the superintendency of Berkeley…amid much protest of him possibly landing that job.

Chino Valley Teacher

September 19th, 2012
9:09 pm

As a retired teacher with Chino Valley USD, it is my opinion (and that of hundreds of other CVUSD employees, I’m sure) that Berkeley clearly dodged a bullet by not hiring Sgt. Heatley. He was indisputably the worst superintendent our district had in my 32 years of teaching with Chino Valley USD. He is a mean man, a nepotistic egotist, and the word around the district and in our communities here was that he did support Prop. 8.

Good luck in your search to find a quality superintendent. You can’t have ours!


September 19th, 2012
10:35 pm

No, thank you.