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4.21 Atlanta Board of Education Announces Dr. Lisa Herring as Finalist for Superintendent
ATLANTA (April 21, 2020) – The Atlanta Board of Education announced Lisa Herring, Ed.D. as finalist for the position of Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. In October, the Board launched a nationwide search with an extensive community engagement period, interviewing a diverse group of candidates before advancing Dr. Herring as the finalist. A Georgia native and Spelman College graduate, Dr. Herring brings more than 25 years of progress and achievement in urban public-school systems across the Southeast. She has a proven track record of success in school turnaround and academic achievement along with building strong partnerships across the entire community.
“Over the last six months, the APS community played a significant role in crafting the leadership profile the Board used to identify potential candidates,” said Board Chairman Jason Esteves. “We believe with her passion for serving students paired with her focus on equity and achievement for all, Dr. Herring is the best leader to take APS to a new level and close the achievement gap for so many of our students.
For the past three years, Dr. Herring served as Superintendent for Birmingham, AL City Schools, stewarding the system to full district accreditation after being put on probation prior to Herring’s arrival. Under her leadership, the system made significant strides moving its state-issued report card grade from an underperforming F to a passing grade of C. By focusing on “children first” and researched-based interventions, the district also decreased the number of F-rated schools from 22 to six and 67% of all schools improved on their individual state report card with 13 schools moving up a letter grade or more.
Dr. Herring built strong civic and corporate partnerships to provide innovative and equitable opportunities for all students across the diverse Birmingham community. In collaboration with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and United Way of Central Alabama CEO Drew Langloh, she helped develop and launch The Birmingham Promise to offer last dollar scholarships and new career and college opportunities for any graduate of Birmingham City Schools. In partnership with Apple, Alabama Power, Tech Birmingham and city leadership she helped with the design and implementation of ED FARM, a first of its kind program to build technology skills in students, teachers and community members.
She holds a Doctorate in Education Administration from Georgia Southern University and an Educational Leadership Certificate from the University of Georgia. With an Educational Specialist and Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of South Carolina, Dr. Herring is uniquely qualified to lead the district during the COVID-19 pandemic which has been a traumatic experience for so many students and their families.
Originally from Macon, Dr. Herring earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College and completed her observational field work at Atlanta Public Schools’ Therrell High School. During her time at Spelman, Herring also volunteered and worked at Warren Memorial Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. She is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Georgia and spent several years as a school counselor and assistant director of student support services in DeKalb County with a similar role in Bibb County. More recent education leadership roles include Deputy Superintendent of Academics of Charleston County, SC School District and Chief Academic Officer of Jefferson County, KY Public Schools.
“My calling is truly to serve all people regardless of their background or influence and it would be an honor to serve the people of Atlanta,” said Dr. Herring, “I am a trained counselor who knows to listen and learn in order to better serve the community, so I look forward to hearing your questions and concerns as we seek unique ways to engage together during this time of social distancing.”
In compliance with Georgia law, the Board must wait a minimum of 14 days between announcing a final candidate for the position of Superintendent and making the appointment official. Given the current social distancing restrictions in place, the Board may extend that period to ensure Atlanta Public School stakeholders have a chance to learn more about Dr. Herring. This will be accomplished through a series of virtual meetings, virtual question and answer sessions and local media opportunities.
Questions and concerns may be submitted through the following channels:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone (404) 802-2267
- Mail Atlanta Board of Education|130 Trinity Avenue SE| Atlanta, Georgia 30303
- Let’s Talk https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/domain/14240 (Select Superintendent Search)
Throughout the waiting period, updates will be shared on the Board’s Superintendent Search page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The Board asks for the community’s help in sharing this information with friends and neighbors during this unprecedented time.
About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 87 schools. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 58 traditional schools, 18 charter schools, six partner schools, two citywide single-gender academies and three alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us.
Dr. Lisa Herring | Biography
Dr. Lisa Herring brings a servant heart and more than 25 years of experience in education with her to Atlanta Public Schools. A Macon, GA native and graduate of Spelman College and Georgia Southern University, she established her professional career by teaching in both public and private schools in urban and rural settings. These experiences allowed her to impact the lives of students from diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds.
Dr. Herring is currently the Superintendent of the Birmingham, AL City Schools (BCS) system. Since joining the system as Superintendent, she led BCS through a significant transformation, stabilizing leadership, improving system performance and increasing student achievement. Under Dr. Herring’s leadership, BCS received its first award of full district accreditation after being under state takeover and conditional accreditation for several years. Dr. Herring's focus on instruction significantly reduced the number of failing schools as identified by the Alabama State Department of Education school report card:
- District turnaround moving grade from an underperforming score of F to a passing score of C
- Sixty-seven percent of all schools improved on their individual school state report card
- Elimination of 17 of 22 “F” rated schools over the last three years
- Thirteen schools moved up a letter grade or more
Among other accomplishments for Birmingham City Schools, Dr. Herring, in collaboration with the board, launched the system’s strategic plan, Force for Greatness 2018-2023, executed an organizational realignment to drive student achievement, increased organizational effectiveness and established advisory groups to enhance stakeholder communication.
Dr. Herring built strong civic and corporate partnerships to provide innovative and equitable opportunities for all students across the diverse Birmingham community. In collaboration with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and United Way of Central Alabama CEO Drew Langloh, she helped develop and launch The Birmingham Promise to offer new career and college opportunities for any graduate of Birmingham City Schools. In partnership with Apple, Alabama Power, Tech Birmingham and city leadership she collaborated to help design and implement ED FARM, a first of its kind program to build technology skills in students, teachers and community members.
Prior to her tenure in Birmingham, Dr. Herring served as Chief Academic Officer for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY, a system with more than 100,000 students where she successfully restructured the academic division and led the district’s strategic plan.
Before her tenure in Louisville, Dr. Herring was the Deputy Superintendent of Academics for the Charleston County, SC School District, as well as Chief Academic Officer, Associate Superintendent for Instructional Support and Executive Director of Student Support Services in the district.
Dr. Herring spent several years as a school counselor and assistant director of student support services in DeKalb County with a similar role in Bibb County where early on in her career she also taught middle school. She completed her observational field work at Atlanta Public Schools Therrell High School. During her time at Spelman, Herring also volunteered and worked at Warren Memorial Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta.
She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Master and Specialist degrees from the University of South Carolina, Leadership Certification from the University of Georgia and her Doctorate from Georgia Southern University. Dr. Herring completed Harvard University’s Public Education and Leadership Program and Georgia’s Leadership Institute for School Improvement. She is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Georgia and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Dr. Herring is humbled to have been recognized for her commitment to the children and communities she has served including:
- Birmingham’s Class of Executives of the Decade, Birmingham Business Journal, 2020
- Birmingham’s Most Influential Executive Award, Birmingham Business Journal, 2019, 2018
- “What’s Right in Education” Difference Maker Award, HURON/Studer Education, 2019
- Exemplary Model Community Service & Leadership Award, Tri-County (AL) Chapter of the Links 2019
- Innovation for Equity in Education, National Charter Member, 2018
- “Salute to HER” Recipient, Belhaven University, Atlanta, 2018
- Education Award, Birmingham City Council, District Eight, 2017
- South Carolina Administrator of the Year, South Carolina School Counseling Association, 2013
- National ASCA Model Program Coordinator, Bibb County School District, 2009
- National ASCA Model Program Coordinator, DeKalb County School System, 2006
Most important, she is the proud mother of one child, her daughter, Imani, also a graduate of Spelman College.
Dr. Herring embraces a passionate belief that education is the greatest equalizer of mankind. She also believes in the inner strength, power and talent of all children, saying success does not rest solely on where you begin in life, but is achieved by how each of us maximizes our talents and pursues our purpose. She believes this is extremely critical in serving, supporting and educating our children and future leaders.