7.1 Dr. Lisa Herring Sworn in as Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools

Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Ian Smith, Executive Director
404-802-2855, office
404-603-6934, cell


Seth Coleman, Media Relations Manager
404-802-2891, office
404-406-5570, cell


July 1, 2020 

Dr Lisa Herring  Headshot

Dr. Lisa Herring Sworn in as Superintendent
of Atlanta Public Schools

Dr. Herring is a Georgia native and Spelman College graduate who completed a student-teaching assignment at Therrell High School


ATLANTA —  Dr. Lisa Herring was sworn in as superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools (APS) today, during a 30-minute ceremony at the APS Alonzo A. Crim Center for Learning and Leadership.


The ceremony was in-person with a limited audience – including members of her immediate family and members of the Atlanta Board of Education – practicing social distancing. It was live-streamed on the District’s Facebook page.


“Dr. Herring has a passion for serving children, and a demonstrated commitment to focusing on equity and achievement for all students,” said Board Chairman Jason Esteves. “We believe that without question she is the best leader to take our schools and our school system to new heights, and to close the achievement gap between our students of color and their white peers. We are eager to begin this new chapter in APS history, with Dr. Herring leading the way.”


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.  


For the past three years, Dr. Herring served as Superintendent for Birmingham 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.


During her tenure leading schools in Birmingham, 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. 


Dr. Herring 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.   

 Dr Lisa Herring  Swearing In

“It’s great to be home,” Dr. Herring said. “I am grateful to the Board for this vote of confidence in selecting me to serve all of the students and families of Atlanta. Education is a calling to me, and I am excited about taking on all of the challenges that are before us, including reopening our schools next month in a manner that is safe for our students and educators, as well as academically productive; ensuring that there is equity throughout our District in every community and in all aspects of how we function as a school system; and to closing the achievement gap, which is an issue that plagues school districts across the nation. It’s time to get to work.”




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.