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DeKalb School Board extends interim superintendent’s contract through June 30 ahead of vote on new super

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DeKalb School Board extends interim superintendent’s contract through June 30 ahead of vote on new super

DeKalb County School District Administration and Industrial Complex on Mountain Industrial Blvd. in Stone Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse

DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb School Board, at its April 17 meeting, set the stage for selecting a new superintendent.

The board plans to meet Wednesday morning, April 19, at 10:30 a.m. to vote on whether to hire Dr. Devon Horton officially. If he is hired, his proposed start date would be after June 30.

In a vote taken at the end of the April 17 meeting, the school board approved Interim Superintendent Dr. Vasanne Tinsley’s contract through June 30. Her one-year employment agreement was set to end on April 25. Terms of her contract extension through June 30 were not immediately available.

While controversy has been bubbling over the school board’s choice, with some community members and board members favoring keeping Tinsley, during public comments, several speakers pledged to support the new superintendent regardless of who the board chooses.

Former DeKalb County CEO Lee May, who is now a pastor at Transforming Faith Church, spoke during public comments on behalf of the DeKalb Pastors Christian Alliance. He encouraged the board to give the new superintendent a chance to succeed.

“We as an alliance will support the superintendent,” he said. 

He said he does not support a request from state Superintendent Richard Woods to pause the hiring process.

Horton is currently the superintendent of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65. If the school board votes to approve his contract, he will be replacing interim Tinsley, who took over when the school board abruptly fired Cheryl Watson-Harris last spring.

The board also approved the following hires for the district: Deputy Superintendent of Student Support and Intervention Dr. Kisha Towns, Director of Transportation Fernando Brown and Fernbank Science Center Director Janetta Greenwood. 

In other business, the DeKalb School Board:

— Approved the National Summer School Initiative (NSSI) agreement to provide professional development, curriculum, coaching support, and leadership training that will support grades 3-8 students, teachers and leaders for Scholars Academy. The agreement cost $828,000.

— Purchased a district-wide license for Edmentum’s Apex learning courses and tutorials from Edmentum for $557,270.26.

— Purchased a Volunteer Management System from K-12 Solutions Group LLC for $70,368.75.

— Approved an amendment of International Community School’s (ICS) charter school contract to increase the maximum enrollment of ICS from 450 to 475 effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.

— Approved a $1.25 million contract for  Ambulance Services to Metro Ambulance Services, Inc. dba American Medical Response.

— Approved a contract extension with Caduceus USA Medical Services, LLC for $200,000 for occupational medical services.

— Approved a contract extension for liquid propane gas delivery services with Ferrellgas as the primary supplier and AmeriGas Propane LP as the secondary supplier. The contract is worth $2 million per year.

— Renewed a contract with Fresh Produce & Eggs to Royal Food Services. The contract is worth $3.1 million

— Renewed a contract for school nutrition paper products with Southeastern Paper Group. The contract is worth $3 million.

— Renewed a contract for bread with Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. The contract is worth $891,770

— Renewed a contract for cold storage services with Boulevard Cold Storage. The contract is worth $300,000.

— Renewed a contract for small wares equipment with Manning Brothers Food Equipment. The contract is worth $187,159.

— Renewed a contract for milk and milk products with Borden Dairy Company. The contract is worth $4.3 million.

.– Renewed a contract for frozen, temperature-controlled and dry food products with Gordon Food Service. The contract is worth $13.4 million.

— Approved an agreement with DeKalb County’s Parks and Recreation Department for a summer food program. The contract is worth $446,484.

— Accepted a $40,000 donation to Dunwoody Elementary School from the Dunwoody Elementary Parent Teacher Organization.

“The donation will be used toward the purchase of five sunshades, including installation in the outdoor playground area.  This will promote a safe and healthy environment for students,” the meeting agenda says.

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