DeKalb County Superintendent Cheryl Atinkson has added another member to what she terms her “dream team” with the appointment of Dr. Ralph Taylor.
Taylor will replace Felicia Mayfield, who is retiring at the end of the year, as the new associate superintendent for support services.
School system spokesman Walter Woods said Taylor is currently the executive director of alternative education and safe schools at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System in North Carolina, where Atkinson once served as a regional superintendent.
Taylor’s appointment, made during a special called meeting on Dec. 5, makes him the fourth appointed person whom Atkinson has at one time worked with. However, Woods said it wasn’t uncommon for new administrators to bring in people they have worked with before.
In addition to Taylor, Atkinson has hired Kathleen Howe as the deputy superintendent of teaching and learning. Howe was a former colleague of Atkinson’s when she was a deputy superintendent in the Kansas City Missouri School District; Kendra March, who came from Charlotte-Mecklenburg as the new deputy superintendent for school leadership and operational support; and Gary Brantley, who came from Lorain City Schools in Ohio where Atkinson was most recently the system’s superintendent. Brantley will be in charge of all computers and technical equipment.
“It’s typical of new administration to bring in personnel who can bring the most to a system. Here, [Brantley] will be brought in to address student discipline…She wanted to bring in her dream team,” Woods said.
In addition to Taylor’s appointment, during a regular work session the board of education approved an annual legislative agenda for 2012, which outlined priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Woods said some of the main points included on the agenda involved the Quality Basic Education Act, the K-12 education formula being upgraded this year, and the state budget and charter schools.
“These are some things that we have taken some positions on. It was well received by the board and we have a luncheon next week with the [board] and local delegation to talk about it,” Woods said.
Woods said the board also approved using leftover revenue from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) III to build new athletic tracks for Peachtree Charter, Columbia, Henderson and McNair middle schools.
“The board has the opportunity to move certain money around to allocate funds for small projects and there has been a good bit of community effort to fix these tracks,” Woods said.