DCSD Board of Education Fires Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris

Keegan Brooks, Editor

In a virtual meeting earlier today, the DeKalb County School District’s Board of Education suddenly severed ties with superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris.

The Board of Education voted to approve a separation agreement with Watson-Harris that would be effective immediately. Watson-Harris served less than two years as superintendent after being hired in summer 2020.

The Board of Education said in a statement after the meeting that “The Board lost confidence in Mrs. Watson-Harris’ ability to provide the leadership the district needs in the face of significant challenges.”

Board members voting in favor of the separation agreement were Vickie Turner, Diijon DaCosta, Anna Hill, and Joyce Morley. Deirdre Pierce voted against the agreement. Marshall Orson and Allyson Gevertz had both left before the sudden vote to attend a previously scheduled event.

According to Decaturish, the meeting itself was “plagued by confusion.” The meeting was rescheduled at the last minute from 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The original agenda for the meeting was ignored, two board members were not present for the vote, and a motion to postpone the meeting proposed by Gevertz did not pass. 

This comes shortly after widespread criticism of the district regarding poor conditions at Druid Hills High School. Sparked by a viral video of issues in the school’s building, Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods sent a scathing letter to the Board of Education after the Georgia Department of Education sent a team to the school, which resulted in the board responding today with a letter placing blame on the superintendent

Vasanne Tinsley, a former deputy superintendent in the DCSD, was named as the interim superintendent.