Jamela Lewis leaving Briarlake ElementaryJamela Lewis, principal of Briarlake Elementary
Editor’s note: This reporting first appeared in The District, an exclusive publication for Decaturish.com subscribers providing a behind-the-scenes look at our reporting on DeKalb County Schools. To become a paying subscriber, visit supportyourlocalnews.com
Greater Decatur, GA — Briarlake Elementary School Principal Jamela Lewis is leaving her post to take another job within the district.
Lewis‘ departure from Briarlake Elementary follows an article by Decaturish.com about her time as principal. Parents and teachers say that the turnover rate at Briarlake Elementary School is unusually high, and that Lewis contributes to a tense atmosphere there for students, parents, and teachers alike.
Teachers and parents accuse Lewis of being unprofessional in the way she interacts with staff and parents and creating a toxic work environment. They said attempts to get district officials to intervene at the school have been unsuccessful. Parents of students at Briarlake accuse Lewis of not acting quickly enough to intervene when students are bullied. To read our previous story about this, click here.
On June 27, Lewis sent a letter to Briarlake teachers and parents saying she was being reassigned within DeKalb County Schools:
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I write this letter to inform you that I have requested a new opportunity within the District, and that request has been granted,” she wrote. “While I will continue to work at the schoolhouse level serving students and professional educators as I have throughout my career with DeKalb County School District, on Thursday, June 30, I will no longer be doing so as a Briarlake Beaver. I have had wonderful experiences at this school, and I am proud of the successes that the students and staff have demonstrated. The District will begin the process for selecting the next leader of Briarlake Elementary School and will ensure that the school year opens with a building leader in place. During that interim period, Ms. Venessa Bines-Truitt, Instructional Coordinator for Region II, will be serving as school’s lead.
“I want to thank the larger Briarlake family and surrounding neighborhoods for their continued support of their children and Briarlake’s students and staff. Over the last seven years, this support has led to academic success levels that have made Briarlake one of the highest performing schools in the District and the state, and I know that it was only possible through that high level of support. Thank you for allowing me to serve your children, and I will always remain a Beaver at heart!”
To see the letter, click here.
Reporter Sara Amis contributed to this story.
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