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New Superintendents Named in Atlanta and Rochester; Tenure Extended for Omaha and Oakland Leaders

  • The Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education has hired Lisa Herring to a three-year contract as the district’s superintendent beginning July 1.

    Herring has been chief of Alabama’s Birmingham City Schools the past three years and previously served as chief academic officer of the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville. She succeeds Meria Carstarphen, who led the district since 2014. Atlanta Superintendent Lisa Herring

    Herring was named the sole finalist for the post in April after a national search for a new chief for the 52,000-student district.

    In a news release, the district characterized Herring as “uniquely qualified to lead the district during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The school board also touted Herring’s successes in school turnarounds and student academic growth.

    “We believe with her passion for students paired with her focus on equity and achievement for all, Dr. Herring is the best leader to take APS to a new level and close the achievement gap for so many of our students,” said Board Chairman Jason Esteves.

    The Birmingham school district was on probation when Herring arrived and she has been credited with improving performance and enabling the district to return to full accreditation. Herring, along with the mayor and the head of United Way of Central Alabama, launched The Birmingham Promise, which offers college scholarships to that city’s high school graduates.

    In a statement, Herring described herself as a “trained counselor who knows to listen and learn to better serve the community.” She said she looks forward to hearing questions and concerns “as we seek unique ways to engage together during this time of social distancing.”

    New Leader in Rochester

    New York’s Rochester City School District recently selected Lesli Myers-Small as its new superintendent, and she started immediately. Rochester Superintendent

    School Board President Van White noted Myers-Small’s ties to Rochester – growing up there, completing undergraduate and graduate work at local universities and teaching in the district for nearly a decade early in her career. In her latest position as assistant commissioner for the State Department of Education, Myers-Small had oversight responsibilities for 13 Rochester schools in state receivership for performance issues.

    The new superintendent has “a comprehensive and objective understanding of RCSD’s challenges as well as its successes,” White said in a news release.

    Myers-Small said her priorities for the 27,000-student school system include “establishing relationships, implementing the budget and reopening schools.”

    She succeeded Terry Dade, who resigned to lead New York’s Cornwall Central School District.

    Omaha Extends Logan Stint Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Logan

    The Omaha Public Schools recently extended the contract of superintendent Cheryl Logan through June 2023. Logan has served as superintendent of the 54,000-student school district since 2018.  She is the first African American and the first female in Omaha to hold the position of superintendent permanently.  

    Board president Marque Snow praised Logan’s “strong, steady and confident leadership” of the 54,000-student system.

    In February, the school board unanimously approved the district’s five-year Strategic Plan of Action designed to prepare students to excel in college, career, and life. In developing the plan, the school system worked with a futurist to develop a plan that would provide more strategic foresight to best serve the needs of its diverse student body.

    Oakland Renews Chief’s Contract

    Kyla Johnson-Trammell has a new three-year contract leading California’s Oakland United School District, with the Board of Education voting unanimously to give her a new contract that runs through June 2023. Kyla Johnson-Trammel

    Johnson-Trammell, an Oakland native, has spent nearly her entire career in education -- all but two of 23 years – in the 37,000-student Oakland system, winning the top job in 2017.

    “All of us are focused on building a more prosperous and peaceful Oakland, and we do that by building brilliant scholars in every classroom in every school,” Johnson-Trammell said in a news release.

    Deasy Resigns in Stockton

    John Deasy, the superintendent of California’s Stockton Unified School District, recently resigned from the 40,000-student school district he has led since June 2018. Deasy previously served as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.