APS Taps Two National Educators for Chief Academic Officer and Chief Schools Officer

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen is recommending two national educators for the roles of Chief Academic Officer (CAO) and Chief Schools Officer (CSO) for the district. Olivine Roberts from the Sacramento City Unified School District is recommended to serve as APS’ new CAO. Donyall Dickey from The School District of Philadelphia is recommended to become the district’s CSO, a newly created position. The Atlanta Board of Education will consider the recommendations during its Aug. 10, 2015 meeting.

These positions reflect the restructuring of the district’s Curriculum and Instruction division to bring additional capacity to school leadership and to ensure that the CAO can focus solely on academic programming. Carlton Jenkins served as the district’s CAO for the 2014-2015 school year. In June, he announced his decision to return to a superintendent role. Prior to joining APS, Jenkins was the superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools District in Saginaw, Michigan.

The new Chief Schools Officer will be responsible for the operational and academic management of schools and will directly supervise the associate superintendents who manage principals across the district. In alignment with the district’s accelerated focus on turning around underperforming schools, the CSO will be responsible for implementing proven turn-around strategies and will also oversee the successful implementation of signature academic programming within each high school cluster.

“I am thrilled that we were able to recruit two nationally recognized educators to our team,” said Superintendent Carstarphen. “I am confident that with their appointments under this new organizational structure, our district is well positioned to accelerate efforts around preparing students for college and careers.”

Roberts has served as the CAO of the Sacramento City Unified School District since 2010. Prior to her tenure in Sacramento, Roberts held leadership roles in school districts in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Orlando, Florida—where she started her career as a middle school math teacher.  Roberts will oversee the district’s academic programming including curriculum, academic enrichment, student services, gifted and talented, and early childhood education. Dickey is the Chief Academic Officer of The School District of Philadelphia, where he has also served as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools.  Before being recruited to Philadelphia, Dickey was a highly regarded principal, third grade teacher, and high school English teacher in the greater Baltimore area.

Pending school board approval, Roberts and Dickey are expected to join the district in August.

About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us  

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