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City Schools of Decatur hires ‘Equity Director,’ fills other key positions

Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake

City Schools of Decatur hires ‘Equity Director,’ fills other key positions


City Schools of Decatur has hired an “Equity Director,” a new employee whose full time job will be to address racial disparities in academic achievement and student discipline.

CSD has also announced a new Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction and a new Director of Special Education.

Lillie Huddleston, a clinical assistant professor at the Georgia State University School of Public Health, will lead CSD’s efforts to create a level playing field for students as the system’s new Equity Director. She previously served on the faculty of Emory University prior to joining Georgia State. She has a background as a music teacher and “is a licensed psychologist and has earned Masters, Ed.S., and Ph.D. degrees in school psychology,” CSD says. She was competing against nearly 100 applicants for the job.

A recent report produced by the school system identified gaps between the academic performance of black and white students. “In 2015-16, a Black student in CSD was eight times more likely than a White student to be cited for rude/disorderly conduct,” the report says.

Decatur’s Beacon Hill Branch of the NAACP has been pushing to keep the disparity issue on the minds of School Board members and representatives have regularly attended board meetings. A Feb. 8 panel discussion on the topic drew a standing-room only crowd.

The new position is part of a larger “strategic reorganization” of City Schools of Decatur’s Central Office. After first proposing the creation of an “associate superintendent” position, Superintendent David Dude decided instead to make some changes to the existing central office staff.

The two other hires announced by CSD are:

– Daryl Campbell, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. The announcement from CSD says, “Daryl has worked as an EL School Designer for our K-3 schools, as a consultant, and as a F.AVE teacher. Daryl began his education career as a high school chemistry teacher and earned the Masters of Education, Teaching and Curriculum Program degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.”

– Frances Marie Holt, Director of Special Education. “Frances has earned a Masters degree in special education and an Ed.S. degree in educational leadership,” the announcement from CSD says. “She is currently a Special Education Coordinator for Atlanta Public Schools and spent many years before that as a special education teacher and compliance coordinator.”