4/5 Principal Bruce Roaden will be new Secondary Education Director

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 28, 2015
Bruce Roaden. Source: City Schools of Decatur

Bruce Roaden. Source: City Schools of Decatur

This story has been updated. 

City Schools of Decatur has announced Bruce Roaden, the current principal of the 4/5 Academy at 5th Avenue, will be the school system’s next Secondary Education Director.

In that role, he will be in charge of overseeing Decatur High and Renfroe Middle.

Roaden follows Lauri McKain, who announced her resignation last year. Roaden has been the principal at 4/5 for four years.

“I’m excited,” Roaden said. “We have two new principals at the secondary level and at least one new assistant principal. One of my most exciting jobs is help them do what they need to do as principals.”

He said he will assume his new duties after the fall break.

Superintendent Phyllis Edwards, who recently announced her impending resignation, has promoted Karen Newton to principal of 4/5 and named Rodney Thomas her assistant principal.

“Ms. Newton has been a key figure in the development of the International Baccalaureate Programme since Dr. Gloria Lee assisted my vision in the opening of the 4/5 Academy,” Edwards said via press release. “Mr. Rodney Thomas has been the Dean of Students at the 4/5 Academy for nine years and an important figure in advancing the positive spirit of the school.  These two people are outstanding educators and leaders. They have worked diligently for CSD students, parents and teachers.”

Karen Newton - Photo courtesy of CSD

Karen Newton – Photo courtesy of CSD

Edwards said Roaden has played a crucial role within CSD.

“Mr. Roaden assisted me in the ‘turn around’ of Renfroe Middle School,” Edwards said. “It is now recognized as one of the best middle schools in the state of Georgia. He has been a principal for 23 years and also taught at the college level. He has also completed his work to become a Certified School Improvement Specialist.”

Rodney Thomas - Photo courtesy of CSD

Rodney Thomas – Photo courtesy of CSD

It is the latest in a number of staffing changes that have occurred at CSD prior to Edwards’ departure.

Recently, she named Noel Maloof as CSD’s Chief Operating Officer, promoting him to the job after a one-year stint as principal of Decatur High. She named Arlethea Williams the new DHS principal, promoting her from her role as DHS assistant principal.

Last month, Edwards announced the hiring of Johnathan Clark as Renfroe Middle’s next principal. He replaced Derrick Thomas, who left Renfroe to take a job with take a job in Henry County Public Schools.

Here is the full announcement from CSD:

Dr. Edwards announced today that Mr. Bruce Roaden will take the positionof Secondary Education Director for City Schools of Decatur. In a statement issued today, Dr. Edwards said, “In the summer, just prior to school starting, I posted and interviewed for a position that is needed at the Central Office. Mr. Bruce Roaden, who has been a Principal with CSD for the last ten years, applied and is the front-runner for the position. With the SLT’s support, I will promote Mr. Roaden to the Central Office position. Mr. Roaden assisted me in the “turn around” of Renfroe Middle School. It is now recognized as one of the best middle schools in the state of Georgia. He has been a principal for 23 years and also taught at the college level. He has also completed his work to become a Certified School Improvement Specialist.

The Director of Secondary Education will assist Dr. Edwards in the mentoring and supervision of two Principals. “The position is also necessary as the system prepares for the upcoming SACS review,” Dr. Edwards said. “I need someone who has had the experience of being a Principal at the secondary level and who understands the instructional direction and initiatives of the City Schools of Decatur.”

Dr. Edwards also announced, “With the SLT’s blessing, I will promote Ms. Karen Newton to Principal at the 4/5 and Mr. Rodney Thomas as the Assistant Principal. Ms. Newton has been a key figure in the development of the International Baccalaureate Programme since Dr. Gloria Lee assisted my vision in the opening of the 4/5 Academy. Mr. Rodney Thomas has been the Dean of Students at the 4/5 Academy for 9 years and an important figure in advancing the positive spirit of the school. These two people are outstanding educators and leaders. They have worked diligently for CSD students, parents and teachers.

Please join us in congratulating Mr. Roaden, Ms Newton and Mr. Thomas on their promotions!

Roaden and Edwards also sent letters to parents of 4/5 Academy students.

Roaden LetterEdwards Letter

About Dan Whisenhunt

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

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  • Eric

    I don’t know Ms. Newton, so I can’t speak to her being the new principal. But I (and just about every parent I know who has worked with him) think the world of Mr. Thomas. Would have loved to see him take the reins at F.AVE.

  • Dec30030 Teacher

    In the announcement sent from CSD it said he was the “top candidate” and “with the SLT’s support” he will be promoted. This article does not include the conditional language that was in the announcement that went to families today.

    • Do you think the SLT will reject this idea? The letter sounded as if the SLT’s approval was a foregone conclusion. As far as I know, the only entity that can reject a recommended hire is the School Board.

  • Dec30030 Teacher

    The supt already met with the SLT twice. Once on the 13th where she announced Bruce’s move. (This meeting never made it on to eBoard by the way.) Then she met again on the 19th, when she announced Newton’s promotion. Just wondering why the letter is worded that way when the meetings already took place.

    Maybe your comments yesterday about the open records requirements of the school board need to serve as a reminder to the school system that the SLTs are to operate under the same process.

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