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Atlanta Public Schools names interim superintendent, pending school board approval

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Atlanta Public Schools names interim superintendent, pending school board approval

Atlanta Public Schools bus. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Atlanta, GA — The Atlanta School Board announced on Aug. 3 that Dr. Danielle Battle has been selected to serve as interim superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. The school board is expected to approve the appointment on Aug. 7.

Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring will transition from her role by the end of August, according to a press release. Herring had previously announced her tenure would end on June 30, 2024. She announced in June that the Atlanta Board of Education will not be extending her contract after next year, Atlanta News First reported.

The school board will also vote on the transition agreement with Herring on Aug. 7. She will transition from her position on Aug. 31 and will serve as a consultant for APS through Dec. 31.

“We appreciate Dr. Herring for her leadership, vision and service to APS, especially during an unprecedented time that impacted us all. We look forward to working closely with her, in this new role, and with Dr. Battle to ensure a seamless transition as we continue our work to advance educational outcomes for our students,” said School Board Chair Eshé Collins.

Herring said she is proud of the progress made in the classroom and the school district during her time as superintendent.

“The 150-year legacy of Atlanta Public Schools is one driven by excellence,” Herring said. “I welcome working closely with Dr. Battle over the next few months to capitalize on the growth and gains achieved by our young scholars and to build upon our rich history of educational excellence.”

Battle has worked for APS for 19 years. Prior to her retirement in June 2021, Dr. Battle served as principal of Parkside Elementary and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, associate superintendent and interim chief of schools and academics. She joined APS after 11 years as a teacher and principal in North Carolina.

As interim superintendent, Battle will continue to support efforts to propel APS’ learning culture. She will collaborate with the school board to implement strategic visions and advance the district towards its goals, the press release states.

Collins added that the school board is excited about welcoming students back and launching another school year.

“Our responsibility and obligation to our APS students, families and employees remain our top priorities and will be mirrored in the thoughtful and considerate selection of our next Superintendent and throughout this time of transition,” Collins said. “Dr. Battle will continue to advance the Board’s goals around literacy and numeracy proficiency, post-graduation preparedness, and college and career readiness. With strong roots in the community, we know Dr. Battle will collaborate well with administrators and staff, and effectively engage with all constituent groups during her time as our Interim Superintendent.”

The school board announced the process for selecting a national search firm in July. The firm selected will help APS select the next superintendent, who will start in July 2024. The school is currently working to hire a firm.

Herring also offered the following statement:

Urban education in the United States must remain a critical focus if we are intentional about changing the life trajectory of the children we serve. During my tenure as superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, our collaborative, purpose-driven work has been realized in the academic progress with our GA Milestones, historic graduation rates, expanded corporate partnerships for schools across the district and the unwavering support f our Atlanta community. As a city that influences everything, Atlanta must remain in step towards becoming a national model for reimagining urban education. The work of this administration, in tandem with the city and other key partners, must continue to thrive.

As a life-long innovator, education advocate and national thought leader, I look forward to supporting the work we started at APS, as well as announcing exciting future opportunities in the coming weeks. While I am humbled by the many tangible markers that reflect our shared success, I am equally encouraged by the resilience, ingenuity and innovation that serve as the hallmark and heart of this incredible district during my role as its superintendent.

APS has an undeniable legacy, paved by 150 years of scholars and leaders who continue to inspire the world. As a champion for student achievement, I am exceedingly proud of the progress made in the classroom and across this school district. The spirit of APS is one driven by continued excellence, where over the course of the last three years we have worked diligently towards our mission of advancing standards while creating a caring culture of equity, trust and collaboration. As we continue with a thoughtful transition in leadership, the board, incoming interim superintendent and I, are keeping the needs of our scholars, families and staff members as our focus and look forward to an unbelievably amazing year ahead.

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