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Published on June 18, 2024
Dr. Bryan Johnson Emerges as Preferred Candidate for Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent RoleSource: Google Street View

Atlanta's journey to appoint a new leader for its public schools is nearing its finish line, with the Atlanta Board of Education announcing Dr. Bryan Johnson as the favored candidate for the superintendent role. Johnson, serving as the executive vice chancellor and chief strategy officer at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, has been hailed by the board for his diverse leadership experience, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. Erika Y. Mitchell, ABOE Chair, expressed excitement about Johnson's potential to guide Atlanta Public Schools to new heights, praising his commitment to pushing students toward success while advocating for the District’s needs.

Provided the board's approval on July 8, 2024,  Dr. Johnson would succeed interim Superintendent Dr. Danielle Battle, who plans to stay through August. "It has been my pleasure to serve Atlanta Public Schools during this period of transition, and I have full confidence that the district will continue to progress under Dr. Johnson's leadership," Dr. Battle stated, endorsing Johnson's track record and vision according to a FOX 5 Atlanta report. The move comes as a shift from the board's initial search extension which sought to fill the position by July 1, 2024 after the early departure of former Superintendent Lisa Herring.

Johnson's past role as the superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, where he achieved notable improvements, and her accolades as 2021 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year and a finalist for the National Superintendent of the Year place him as a strong contender for leading Atlanta's vast educational landscape. Yet this announcement was not without its own dialogues; prior to revealing Dr. Johnson's candidacy, the district kept a tight lid on the finalists' names, in compliance with state law, and had planned to release them only after the process was completed, as reported by 11Alive.

Atlanta Public Schools, with its considerable $1.7 billion budget and a diverse student body primarily comprised of a Black majority, mirrors the city's own battles with inequality. Mitchell underscored the importance of the next superintendent bringing a focus on literacy and equity to the helm, along with an intuitive understanding of Atlanta's complexities, as relayed by FOX 5 Atlanta. The board's deliberate approach to the search highlights their commitment to not only a transparent process but one that is inclusively attentive to the needs of the city's future generations.