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State Sen. Emanuel Jones “endorses” interim superintendent of DeKalb County Schools

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State Sen. Emanuel Jones “endorses” interim superintendent of DeKalb County Schools

FILE PHOTOS: State Sen. Emanuel Jones speaks during a May 13, 2019 press conference about Gov. Brian Kemp vetoing Senate Bill 53.

DeKalb County, GA — A state senator issued a press release on March 21 saying he endorses Interim Superintendent Dr. Vasanne Tinsley as the finalist for the job.

State Sen. Emanuel Jones said, “It is my distinct honor to provide my official nomination and endorsement for Dr. Vasanne Tinsley as a candidate for Superintendent of the DeKalb County School District.”

“Dr. Tinsley has honorably served the DeKalb County School District for over 30 years, including her current position as Interim Superintendent of the DeKalb County School District,” Jones’ continued. “Throughout her many years of service to DeKalb County, Dr. Tinsley has served as a school counselor, System-Wide Head Counselor, Director of Student Support Services, and Deputy Superintendent of Student Support and Intervention. Despite a longtime battle with high turnover rates within the school district, Dr. Tinsley has worked tirelessly to stabilize the district by creating an environment for students, faculty, and parents to learn, work and thrive. With over 93,000 students and almost 15,000 Georgians employed in the DeKalb County School District, it is prudent that we allow Dr. Tinsley to uphold the standards she has successfully established. Dr. Tinsley views the role of superintendent as a lifetime commitment to educating our children in preparation for a bright future ahead, and because of this, I can attest to her character and contributions to DeKalb County. Thank you for taking the time to consider Dr. Vasanne Tinsley for Superintendent of the DeKalb County School District.”

The school board hasn’t announced any finalists for the position and isn’t expected to do so until April. While Tinsley hasn’t been formally announced as a finalist, her interest in the job and the interest of some board members in hiring her isn’t a secret.

Dr. Tinsley signaled her interest in the job in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. At a retreat last August, then School Board chair Vickie Turner endorsed Tinsley, prompted by a question from the school district’s spokesperson.

School district spokesperson Donald Porter asked her, “Who would make a great superintendent for this district?” at the end of an interview conducted by Decaturish.

“I think we’ve got a great superintendent right now,” Turner said. “…I base that on — it’s not a preference, not a personal thing — I like a worker bee. She’s rolled up her sleeves, boots on the ground. She has institutional knowledge. She understands historical value. You can’t just run game. You can’t just say anything. She’s a thinker. She’s smart as a whip. I think we’ve already got what we need. That’s just me. But I’m only one vote.”

Tinsley needs four votes out of seven board members, but apart from Turner, none of the other board members have publicly declared interest in Tinsley or any other candidate.

The DeKalb School Board stunned the community last April when it fired superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris and replaced her with Tinsley.

Soon after, Tinsley revealed that some board members had approached her about replacing Watson-Harris a day before she was fired. The firing was approved by four board members: Turner, Vice Chair Diijon DaCosta, and DeKalb County School Board members Dr. Joyce Morley and Anna Hill.

The four people who voted to hire her as interim superintendent are still on the board. DaCosta is the current board chair. There is a new board member, Whitney McGinnis, who replaced school board member Marshall Orson when his term expired.

After announcing finalists in April, the school board plans to hire the superintendent in May.

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