March 30 Speaker Cheryl Atkinson
Invocation - Kyle Williams
Guests - Walter Woods, DeKalb County Schools, guest of the Club and Whitney Dickens, guest of Desiree Peagler.
From the Speaker - Bob Wilson introduced our speaker Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, the new Superintendent of the DeKalb County Schools. A native of Columbus, OH, Dr. Atkinson has been a professional educator for 30 years, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. She stated, "Education is my passion." Her approach is to "let adult issues fall to the side and focus on what is best for the children."
In her first 90 days on the job, she visited all 136 schools in the DeKalb County system and in so doing was able to get a "grasp" on the concerns as well as the hopes and dreams of those with whom and for whom she is working.
The DeKalb County schools have 98,000 students, speaking 100 different languages, 70% of whom qualify for free or reduced lunches. There are 14,733 employees and 6,700 teachers.
Dr. Atkinson said that not enough attention has focused on the miracles and good stories and cited a county-wide program where first and second graders maintained trout farms and supported each other in best practices as they raised the trout for ultimate release in the Chattahoochee River.
She has also been overseeing a study on salary compensation and salary disparities with the aim of moving fiscal and human resources to the schools and away from the administrative layers of the system. She also mentioned that there is a move to go paperless and cited the increased use of e-books as an example.
The Club presented Dr. Atkinson with a copy of Education Nation by Milton Chen to be donated to the DeKalb Library System in her honor.
|President Jason and Alan Dishman watch the crowd|
|Bob Wilson confers with Cheryl Atkinson|
|Dr. Cheryl Atkinson says her passion is education|
|And the book we are donating in your honor is . . .|