As I shared with you during community town hall meetings and our recent State of the Schools events, Atlanta Public Schools is focused on recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest talented leaders who care about educating children and can help us build on our strengths.
Tonight I recommended, and the Board approved, three new Atlanta Public Schools team members.
Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins will serve as the district’s Chief Academic Officer. Dr. Jenkins is credited with transforming schools and developing current and future leaders in K-12 public education as superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools District in Saginaw, MI. During his tenure, Dr. Jenkins increased the graduation rate by 14.1 percentage points and reduced the dropout rate by 4.9 percentage points over four years for all students. With more than 18 years of experience in education, Dr. Jenkins has served in leadership positions such as an associate administrator, principal of a middle school and three high schools, executive director of Project-GRAD leadership K-12 and executive director of secondary leadership. He received his undergraduate degree from Mississippi Valley State University, a master’s degree in educational administration and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Katie McDowell joins us as Executive Director of Partnerships and Development in the Office of the Deputy Superintendent. You may know her as the co-founder and Executive Director of the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education. Ms. McDowell has led the Atlanta Families’ Awards for the last nine years, recognizing and awarding over $2 million to high-achieving teachers and school leaders in APS and Fulton County Schools through a merit-based awards program. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Raynise Smith will serve as the permanent Director of the Office of Professional Learning. Ms. Smith has worked for APS since 2008 and has been serving as the interim director in this role for the last couple of months. Ms. Smith is a dynamic leader with extensive experience managing large-scale programs and projects in K-12 education, partnerships and national programs.
These individuals are just a few of the new additions to the team who represent the caliber of people whom we believe will make strong contributions in moving the district forward. These individuals will join the team over the next several weeks. Please help me welcome them to APS!