DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris fired |

2022-05-05 09:15:37 By : Ms. Alice Yang

Example video title will go here for this video

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County Board of Education has voted to approve a separation agreement with DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris, effective immediately. The board voted during a virtual executive meeting Tuesday evening. 

The news comes after Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods issued a scathing letter Monday, scolding the DeKalb school board for not taking action to improve conditions at Druid Hills High School. Videos from students have gone viral over the past few weeks after they exposed mold, a sewage leak and crumbling walls at the high school. 

Recently, the board rejected a proposal to modernize the school. They instead decided to lump Druid Hills with several others in the district to get repairs. Some opposed said the school needs more than simple updates and that the modification would not make Druid Hills safer.

An interim following Watson-Harris' departure has already been announced. According to a release from DeKalb County Schools, the board voted to name Dr. Vasanne Tinsley as the interim superintendent, citing her ability to operate the day-to-day activities of the DeKalb County School District. 

A release added that Tinsley "brings a wealth of experience" to the school district. She formerly served as the Deputy Superintendent of Student Support and Intervention in the district, according to a release.

“We appreciate Mrs. Cheryl Watson-Harris for her service to the DeKalb County School District and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” Board Chair Vickie B. Turner said. “The Board has the utmost confidence in Dr. Tinsley serving as the interim superintendent. The immediate departure of Mrs. Watson-Harris will have no bearing on the search for the next superintendent. The Board remains fully committed to an open and transparent process and supporting the students of DCSD.”

In a statement to 11Alive, Watson-Harris wrote she was "blindsided" by the Board of Education's action. 

"I was unaware that my contract or employment would be discussed during today’s meeting as I was not notified and it was not identified on the meeting notice," she wrote. 

Watson-Harris added that she was not invited to be a part of the executive session meeting after the student appeal discussion and was released from the virtual meeting without notice. 

"I have not received any formal notification from BOE Chair Vickie B. Turner or Vice Chair Diijon DaCosta," she wrote. 

Watson-Harris took over as DeKalb County School Superindentent in 2020, which made her the 7th superintendent for DeKalb in 18 years. 

11Alive's Doug Richards previously compiled a list of superintendents in DeKalb County: 

Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings.