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Former Decatur superintendent attached to several job openings

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Former Decatur superintendent attached to several job openings

Former City Schools of Decatur superintendent David Dude. Image obtained from City Schools of Decatur

Decatur, GA — His exit from City Schools Decatur was messy, but former superintendent David Dude is having no trouble being considered for other superintendent jobs.

Recently, Dude has been linked to at least three superintendent job openings around the country.

He was a finalist for an interim superintendent job in Colorado, Idaho and, most recently, Little Rock, Ark.

Dude’s troubles with the Decatur school district haven’t followed him on the job hunt, so far. The Greeley Tribune in Colorado wrote about his departure from the district, but so far, other news outlets haven’t.

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported today that Dude left CSD “to care for a family member.”

It’s not known whether caring for a family member factored into Dude’s departure from Decatur last year, but it was well-known that he had been under scrutiny for months. Before leaving the district in April, Dude was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into his use of vacation days while serving as superintendent. The decision to place him on administrative leave followed numerous investigative stories published by Decaturish.com about a lawsuit filed against Dude and the district.

David Adams, the former HR director, alleges a central office shakeup in December 2019 occurred because the school’s finance director expressed concerns that Dude took more vacations than his contract allowed.

Dude received more than $100,000 in payments for unused vacation days since 2016, records obtained by Decaturish show. Dude documented his own vacation days, but the records provided by the district also show Dude didn’t document those days in the school district’s payroll system until 2021. The Decatur school district recently settled the Adams’ lawsuit.

At one point, Dude was named in three of five federal lawsuits against the district, all filed during his last year with CSD. Only one lawsuit is still pending. The district settled two of them, including Adams’ suit.

Even after he left the district, Dude didn’t stop making headlines.

Salary data released by the state showed Dude made $411,554.35 in Fiscal Year 2021, making him one of the highest-paid superintendents in the state of Georgia. He made more money that year than the superintendents of the much larger Atlanta, Fulton County and DeKalb County public school systems. His salary before leaving the district was $219,000, not including bonuses and pay-outs for his unused vacation days. Dude also received $135,239.05 for accrued sick leave and additional vacation pay-outs that year, according to information released by the district. The School District set stricter contract terms for his successor, Superintendent Maggie Fehrman.

Dude has not been idle while looking for his next superintendent job. He’s listed as a math teacher at Marian Central Catholic High School in Illinois and also started a company called Compass Tree LLC which offers enrollment projecting, facility planning, staffing reviews and other educational services.

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