DeKalb County Schools terminates contract with superintendent search firm

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 4, 2015
Interim DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond speaks at the Brookhaven City Council’s March 26, 2013 meeting at PATH Academy. File photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers

Interim DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond speaks at the Brookhaven
City Council’s March 26, 2013 meeting at PATH Academy. File photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers

The DeKalb County Schools system has abruptly ended its relationship with ProAct amid concerns about some racist remarks allegedly made by its CEO.

SUPES Academy, a company related to ProAct, is under investigation by the FBI over a no-bid contract it received from Chicago Public Schools.

Prior to conducting interviews of candidates on Friday and Saturday, the School Board Chairman Melvin Johnson said the board was monitoring the situation with SUPES Academy.

But on May 3, CBS Atlanta published a story repeating allegations made in an April 30 Chicago Sun Times article regarding one of the owners of the search firm, Gary Solomon. According to The Times, Solomon used a variety of racial slurs in emails and subsequently lost his job as a high school teacher. He described an administrator as an “uppity n—–” in one email and in another email used several different racial slurs. To read the full story, click here.

The DeKalb County School Board sent out a press release on May 3 announcing that, “The Board is also aware of some disturbing allegations that have come to light regarding the CEO and owner of ProAct, the search firm hired by the Board to assist with its Superintendent search. While these are allegations only, the DeKalb County Board of Education is committed to ensuring that the individuals representing us reflect our values and those of our community. To that end, the Board has elected to end its relationship with ProAct and continue the search independently.”

The press release indicated the board might make the selection from the candidates interviewed over the weekend.

“We are confident that, with our highly qualified pool of candidates, we will select an outstanding leader to continue the turnaround of the DeKalb County School District,” the press release says.

The School Board is seeking a replacement for outgoing Superintendent Michael Thurmond.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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