Atlanta school board announces finalist for superintendent

The Atlanta Board of Education has announced a finalist for the position of Atlanta Public Schools superintendent.

Dr. Lisa Herring has been selected as a finalist to be the next Atlanta Public School superintendent.

Tuesday, the board announced that Lisa Herring, Ed. D., a native of Georgia who had spent time examining Atlanta public school system while an undergrad at Spelman College, was their pick to be a finalist for the position.

Officials say Herring would bring her over 25 years of experience working in urban public-school across the Southeast and a track record of school turnaround and academic achievement, as well as a skill as making strong partnerships with the community, to Atlanta.

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“Over the last six months, the APS community played a significant role in crafting the leadership profile the Board used to identify potential candidates,” Board Chairman Jason Esteves said. “We believe with her passion for serving students paired with her focus on equity and achievement for all, Dr. Herring is the best leader to take APS to a new level and close the achievement gap for so many of our students.

Herring has spent the last three years serving at the superintendent for schools in Birmingham, Alambama, working to get the system back to full accredation after it was put on probation before she arrived.

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Officials say under her leadership, the system went from getting a score of F in state-issued grading to a C. Herring also reduce the number of schools in the area rated an F from 22 to six, with more than half of all schools improving on their individual report cards.

Herring, a native of Macon, went o Spelman College as an undergraduate and did her observational field work at an Atlanta high school. She holds a doctorate in eduational administration from Georgia South University, an educational leadership certificate from the university of Georgia, and a masters of education in school counseling from the University of South Carolina.

“My calling is truly to serve all people regardless of their background or influence and it would be an honor to serve the people of Atlanta,” Herring said in a statement. “I am a trained counselor who knows to listen and learn in order to better serve the community, so I look forward to hearing your questions and concerns as we seek unique ways to engage together during this time of social distancing.”  

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Georgia law states that the Board must now wait a minimum of two weeks before announcing a finalist and making the appointment official. The Board said that they may extend that period in order to allow school stakeholders have a chance to learn more about Herring through virual meetings, question and answer sessions, and media opportunities.

If made official, Herring will succeed outgoing Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen, whose contract the Atlanta Board of Education chose not to renew. Carstarphen's contract expires in June.