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New Interim Principal for Jackson High School

Thomas Kenner's appointment to the Grant Park high school is pending Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education's approval at July 9 meeting.

Atlanta Public Schools on Friday said it named four interim principals to district high schools, including in Grant Park.

Thomas Kenner, a former principal at the former Usher Middle School and Young Middle School, replaces Shirline Carter, Jackson's current principal.

An APS spokesman said he had no immediate comment on Carter's status.

Kenner's appointment will be presented to the APS Board of Education for approval at it's July 9 board meeting.

APS posted for the position in April.

The replacement is not a surprise; a hoped-for change had been openly discussed for months at many neighborhood meetings of several communities that feed into Jackson, including Grant Park, Ormewood Park and East Atlanta.

Jackson lags its peers in graduation rates and parents whose children are in its attendance zone, have been concerned about its dropout rate, too.

The school ranks 375th out of 399 high schools statewide.

The leadership change comes as APS has earmarked some $40 million toward Jackson in a plan designed to bring .

Three other schools in East Atlanta Patch also have open positions:

  • King Middle School in Grant Park
  • Hope-Hill Elementary in Old Fourth Ward
  • D.H. Stanton Elementary School in Peoplestown

But no final decisions have been made, APS said.

Kate Lee July 01, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Don't throw Dr. Shirlene Carter under the bus - she guided this school from a 10-15% graduation rate and literally no-college-going students to one that is much more competitive, with significantly higher graduation rates. APS has been indifferent to Jackson(formerly Southside) for decades, with minimal parent / community involvement. I don't see Mr. Murphy volunteering to be on the Local School Council - which might be a GOOD start. It's very easy to be critical until you done the work - and I've been on the LSC for several years. Go raise some money to revitalize the College Bound center at Jackson, which is understaffed, but continues because Dr. Carter was committed to instilling a college-going culture at Jackson. It's not easy, trust me, because I've done it.
Chris Murphy July 01, 2012 at 01:03 PM
@Kate Lee: so you're on the LSC? How many meeting did you go to this year? I ask because I went to all of the LSC meetings save one, and never saw you there. Your name is not on the list of members, either. I became a member in the spring, when it was apparent that most members weren't showing up and weren't going to. As far as how those 'members' came to be on the Council- you'd have to ask Dr. Carter, as the process was far from transparent: the 2-yr. PTA president didn't even know of the existence of the LSC. BTW, I'm also the PTA treasurer. I didn't mention Dr. Carter in my original post. I suppose that she could defend her record, such as it is. I do know that at all public meetings at the school, she claimed Jackson was one of the top high schools in the nation, that the graduation rate (depending on the year) was 77-81%, and that the seniors had garnered X millions of dollars in scholarships (amount depending on the year); with things going so great, why *should* the community have gotten involved? That, and the fact that we weren't allowed to be involved- except to attend those public meetings, which were fashioned after pep rallies.
Chris Murphy July 01, 2012 at 01:04 PM
(con't.) The school has it tough enough with the demographic it has: 80+% free-and-reduced price lunch, the Federal benchmark. Having people claim to be doing all sorts of great work at the school, while the staff suffers from a lack of academic, financial, and disciplinary support is darn close to criminal- you know, fraud. APS is indifferent to ALL the schools: the central office personnel are interested in their pay and benefits,and could care less how they get them. The same attitude prevails in many of the school administrators that rose in the Hall administration. The PR and BS that have ruled APS, that have made it a jobs program rather than educational system has robbed a couple generations of the City's kids of the chance to 'make it' in our society. I sure damn wish those responsible could be prosecuted, because the results are criminal.
Kate Lee July 01, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I notified Dr. Carter at the beginning of this past year that I would no longer be able to serve, after being on the LSC for more than 4 years. Over that time, there was little local community invovlement - in fact, the "community roles" on the LSC were originally filled by GE Energy employees who mentored students. And the community should always be involved - that will ensure that the students continue to achieve. And I agree with much of your subsequent posting. The lack of attention to schools other than Carver, Grady and North Atlanta (for high schools, not even touching on the issues with Middle and Elementary schools) is nothing less than appalling. I do hope that the new LSC - with some community support, and perhaps Mr. Paul will jump in and join the LSC as a involved community partner - could make a difference. When teachers see and feel parent and community invovlement, they are more likely to push themselves to do even more. And there are a lot of dedicated teachers and staff at Jackson. Compared to schools with similar demographices (80% Title I, for example, or % of students who are first in family to graduate High School), it has shown significant gains, many of which are attributed to Dr. Carter and her staff.
Andrea K-s July 03, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Paul Brown from Fulton's McNair Middle

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