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Decatur School Board to consider approving superintendent contract

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Decatur School Board to consider approving superintendent contract

Superintendent finalist Dr. Gyimah Whitaker takes a question during a meet-and-greet hosted by City Schools of Decatur in the cafeteria at Decatur High School on Thursday, March 30, 2023. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur School Board will meet on Tuesday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. for a special called meeting. The meeting will be in-person at the Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Ave., and via Zoom.

The school board will consider approving the contract for the new superintendent, Dr. Gyimah Whitaker.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here.

To join by phone, dial +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592. The webinar ID is 956 1415 9391.

To make a public comment, in-person attendees can register online before the meeting or upon arrival by scanning a QR Code on the Board Room entrance. Registration will ensure that the district collects information necessary to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing. Please ensure the name you enter on the form matches the name you use(d) to sign-up. If the names do not match, it will not be possible for you to be recognized to participate in public comment. To sign up for public comment, click here.

City Schools of Decatur recently named Whitaker as the sole finalist in its superintendent search. She will officially assume the role of superintendent on July 1, if her contract is approved by the school board.

“Dr. Whitaker has a long track record of being a results-oriented educational leader with the proven ability to create sustainable outcomes by leading through impact and influence,” School Board Chair James Herndon previously said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have her helming CSD, particularly at the start of ‘All In Decatur,’ the district’s new five-year strategic plan.”

Whitaker said she is delighted to serve as the next superintendent of CSD.

“I was drawn to this district because it is truly a gem – a rare and special find. I am proud to be all in Decatur to ensure we reach an even higher level of brilliance,” she said.

Whitaker has over two decades of leadership experience. Most recently, she has been serving as deputy chief academic officer for Fulton County Schools, where she supervises the assistant superintendents of student support services and learning and teaching, and oversees a budget of $48 million general funds, $61 million federal funds, and $47 million ESSR funds.

“Whitaker brings deep experience in development and oversight of innovative instructional programs, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, community engagement and communications, and system-wide budgets,” the press release says. “The trajectory of her career has always been focused on improving access to excellent education experiences and being a change agent for academic systems.”

Superintendent Maggie Fehrman announced on March 24 that she was no longer seeking the position. She has not announced her plans and said she is still considering several options.

“The City Schools of Decatur Board of Education has been conducting a search for the school system’s next superintendent,” the school board said in a statement. “Dr. Maggie Fehrman is not planning on continuing as Superintendent beyond the 2022-2023 school year and is pursuing other opportunities. She has served as superintendent since 2021 and, among many other accomplishments, led the development of ‘All In Decatur,’ the current strategic plan.”

Fehrman took over for former superintendent David Dude in April 2021 after he left the district following months of investigative stories by Decaturish.com that examined allegations raised by the school district’s former human resources director. The School Board gave Fehrman a one-year contract in May 2021. In January 2022, the school board said it needed more time to search for Dude’s replacement. The school board extended her contract in February 2022 for another year, and her current contract began on July 1, 2022.

Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this story.

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