After months of a national search for a new superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools announced the sole finalist for the top job. School Board Chairman Courney English made the announcement and introduction to the media and Atlanta on Thursday, March 27, 2014. The new superintendent for APS will be Dr. Meria Carstarphen, superintendent of the Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas. Dr. Carstarphen has lead AISD for 5 years.
Dr. Meria Carstarphen returns home after years away from home. She is from Selma, Alabama and is very knowledgeable of the southern city of Atlanta and the history of the deep south. The news conference was held at Hope-Hill Elementary School. The school is adjacent to the King Center and a few blocks from the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King. Also, a few blocks down, The first African American Catholic Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
She stated that this was a great moment for her and the city of Atlanta. Dr. Carstarphen has the skills and the vision that the city needs at this very difficult time in the history of APS. Dr. Carstarphen grew up in this area of the south and attended school in Alabama. She stated that coming from Alabama, that Atlanta was the city they looked up to when she was growing up. Dr. Carstarphen has a special connection coming from Selma to Atlanta; both cities share a lot of the civil rights history. She spoke briefly on some of her focuses to help improve Atlanta Public Schools. The APS Board will vote and confirm her appointment on April 14, 2014.
She talked about rebuilding trust in the district. Dr. Carstarphen realizes, that there is a lot of work to do in APS and the city of Atlanta. She must build trust after the biggest educational cheating scandal in history. Parents deserve a great choice in Atlanta Public Schools, she said. Welcome to Atlanta, Dr. Carstarphen. Welcome back home. Children first.
Live news conference at Hope-Hill Elementary School
Channel 2 Action News