Dear DeKalb County Community,
Our district is undergoing a tremendous amount of change. From my appointment as interim superintendent to the election of a new Board of Education chairman, Dr. Melvin Johnson, to the legal proceedings involving our Board, 2013 has been full of new challenges and new opportunities.
Yesterday, the State Board of Education voted to recommend to Governor Nathan Deal that six members of our Board of Education be suspended with pay. Three members, Dr. Johnson, vice-chair Jim McMahan and Marshall Orson, were not included in the recommendation. The final outcome of the process is yet to be determined; however, by working with our Board and my staff, we will bring the spotlight back to the task entrusted to us - educating our young people.
I recognize that we have made tremendous demands upon our employees, and I pledge to work to make things better for our educators and our students.
Please avoid speculation and rumors, and take this as an opportunity to become even more focused on our greatest resource - our 99,000 students.
My commitment to our students, our employees and our community is unchanged.
We are beginning our budget planning process, and we will strive to place more resources in our schools, but we will also involve you - our parents, community members, taxpayers, business representatives and faith leaders - in the decision-making process.
We owe a great deal of appreciation to you for your commitment and dedication to the DeKalb County School District. It's difficult not to be distracted by the ongoing controversy, but please know we are grateful that you continue to trust us with your most precious resource, your children. Thank you.
I am truly looking forward to both working with you and for you. Together, we're going to make a difference in DeKalb.
Michael L. Thurmond