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After Yearlong Search, Atlanta Superintendent Chosen in Unanimous Vote

New superintendent Meria Carstarphen will be tasked with aiding a school system hovering at a 59 percent graduation rate.

Photo Credit: Patch File Photo
Photo Credit: Patch File Photo
Former Austin, Tex., superintendent Meria Carstarphen has officially been named as the new Atlanta School Board superintendent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this morning.

She will replace Erroll Davis, who has held the seat since July 2011 and is set to retire.

Carstarphen, 44, increased graduation rates by eight points since 2009 during her role as school superintendent in Austin, according to Channel 2 Action News. The school board passed on extending her contract beyond 2015.

In Atlanta she will be tasked with educating 50,000 students, improving a graduation rate of less than 60 percent, and polishing a school system’s reputation sullied by a standardized test cheating fiasco.

“It’s time to bring the pride back to this school system … to face those tough challenges we know are in front of us,” she said after her unanimous election, the ACJ reported.

She also will oversee about 7,000 employees plus a $595 million general budget.

Carstarphen’s first day is July 7. According to the AJC, she received a three-year contract and will be paid a base salary of $375,000 plus monthly allowances of $1,200 for auto and $800 for expenses. In Austin, she earned $283,412, while Davis made $258,837 in 2013.

Courtney D. English, Atlanta Board of Education chair, praised Carstarphen for her leadership in a statement today on the Atlanta Public Schools blog, Talk Up APS: “Given her focus on the development of the whole child, and using a collaborative approach to see that students achieve, I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Carstarphen’s leadership. She is the right leader at the right time for our system who will deliver the best education possible to our students. It’s time for Atlanta to believe again.”

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