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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Interim superintendent Dr. Battle’s contract extended, search continues

Sierra Pape
BATTLE BACK: Interim Superintendent Dr. Danielle Battle’s contract has been extended to Dec. 31. The Atlanta Board of Education did this to ensure they could have enough time to find the right fit for a new permanent superintendent in the district.

The Atlanta Board of Education announced they would be extending the contract of Atlanta Public Schools interim Superintendent Dr. Danielle Battle to Dec. 31. 

District 1 Representative Katie Howard said the extension ensures the board has the proper time to decide on the next permanent superintendent. 

“The Board of Education has extended the search to make sure we find the right fit for our district,” Howard said. “We have said from the beginning we would take the time necessary to find the right leader for APS, and we have extended Dr. Battle’s contract until Dec. 31 to ensure we have more time to make the right decision.”

Howard believes the extended search is positive to ensure the next superintendent is the right choice for the district.

“I see it as the Board of Education doing our job to the fullest extent and working collaboratively to determine who will be the best, next superintendent,” Howard said.  “We take this work extremely seriously, and I’m glad we have a Board so focused on finding the right person for APS at this point in time.  I consider us taking the time to get it right.”

Howard hopes the next superintendent will work further on initiatives Dr. Battle began, including the focus on literacy. 

“The Board of Education adopted goals that make it clear that our next superintendent will need to continue the extremely focused work on increasing literacy proficiency and [make] sure every student has the skills they need to be truly college and career-ready when they graduate,” Howard said.  “These priorities will require us to continue the work to identify students’ needs and update our strategic plan and our board goals. This will take very student-focused, collaborative work with the next superintendent.”

English teacher Desiree Carter said the next superintendent should have classroom experience. 

“I look for someone who has classroom experience and is connected with what teachers are expected to do and can lead with that in mind,” Carter said.

English teacher Mario Herrera believes the lack of a full-time superintendent contributes to instability within the district. 

“This will be my sixth superintendent since I started working in APS,” Herrera said. “I get that the reason that happens is often [because] this position is like a stepping stone to something bigger. I can’t fault people for that, but I sure would like some stability.”

Herrera said that the next superintendent must adapt and develop solutions for modern-day problems.

“We are in the 21st century, we are post-COVID [and] AI is going to be part of what we do,” Herrera said. “Technology is not going away. We have to find ways to not only embrace it but to figure out what to do with it. The one thing I hope we do not get is a micromanager because I’ve been doing this forever and I’ve never known a micromanager to get the results they ultimately are looking for.”

Carter believes the superintendent should place an emphasis on school curricula.

“I’d like to see [the next superintendent] come back to the curriculum, especially as we are changing standards,” Carter said. “I know that APS values equity and having everyone doing the same thing across the board, but I would value them looking at the existing curriculum with its emphasis on computers and screens versus reading hardcopy books.”

Howard believes Dr. Battle’s time as interim superintendent has been positive and will leave a lasting effect on the next permanent superintendent.

“I certainly don’t want to speak for Dr. Battle, but based on knowing and working with her, I know she will leave us with a necessary resetting focused on what’s best for our students,” Howard said. “She will set us up well for the next leader and will remind everyone that this work is about serving students and improving their outcomes; she loved APS enough to come back and lead us during this time. I am extremely grateful for her continual service and look forward to working with her throughout the rest of her tenure with us.”



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About the Contributors
Zelda Lerner
Zelda Lerner, News Section Editor
Zelda Lerner is a sophomore and this is her first year writing for the Southerner. She is also a part of the yearbook and French clubs.
Sierra Pape
Sierra Pape, News Managing Editor
Sierra Pape is a junior and this is her third year on the Southerner staff. When she is not writing, you will find her running for the Midtown cross country team, working for Midtown Votes and political organizations outside of school, and singing and playing the guitar. She is excited to contribute to the paper for years to come.

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