At its meeting downtown Monday, the Atlanta Board of Education decided to delay the renewal of Superintendent Erroll Davis’ contract until December, when it expires. No vote was required by the board.
Davis, a Buckhead resident who was hired in July 2011 as the interim superintendent to replace the retiring Beverly Hall, was criticized for having North Atlanta High’s senior staff, including interim Principal Mark MyGrant, abruptly removed Oct. 5 and replacing them with a transition team. New Principal Gene Taylor is expected to start at North Atlanta Monday.
Davis also has been both praised and criticized for firing teachers and administrators implicated in the school system’s CRCT cheating scandal.
His contract does not expire until June 30. However, school system spokesman Stephen Alford said, “it stipulates that if there is a contract extension, the board must inform him in December.”
The school board likely will vote on Davis’ contract at a meeting the first or second Monday in December, Alford said.
Chandler Rudd is a board member with the North Atlanta High School Foundation, the school’s fundraising arm, and his son John is a junior at the school. Rudd said he was upset with how Davis handled the staff removal.
“I think my confidence in him has been shaken,” Rudd said. “Davis has a background in leading businesses. In business transitions, people are very thoughtful in keeping talent that is responsible for the community. We haven’t seen that thought process [at North Atlanta]. It’s almost as if the students and their welfare are secondary to another agenda.
“There are students who want people [former school leaders] to write their recommendations for colleges, and they’re gone. That’s very disturbing to families. My thought is let’s reevaluate [the school system’s leadership].
Rudd also said the removal of staff was done in a manner to suggest a crime had been committed by North Atlanta’s leaders.
“The hard drives were seized. The laptops were confiscated,” he said. “It’s like I told one person: if it’s something awful that’s on those computers, let’s deal with it and move on. If it’s something else, let’s deal with that then. The good news is the new principal has made an effort to get to know people before he even starts.”