Monday marked the first official day on the job for Atlanta Public School's new superintendent.
Channel 2’s Wendy Corona spoke with Dr. Meria Carstarphen on Monday afternoon. The superintendent likened the start of her day and this new era to that of an eager student.
Carstarphen officially begins a new era of leadership for Atlanta Public Schools after the system was rocked with a district-wide cheating scandal under the helm of Dr. Beverly Hall.
“We want to see this sea change around the culture,” Carstarphen said.
Transitioning into her new role since April, Carstarphen has been meeting with people at all levels.
“If they're not up to making that transition, they really don't have a place on the APS team anymore,” she said.
Her first day began with a campus visit to Therell High School in southwest Atlanta.
“It’s going to be spending a full year transitioning from being three individual high schools to one high school. I wanted to see the work that they were doing with their academic planning teams,” she said.
She admitted to wanting to visit more schools on her first day, but wanted to share a message with parents with the start of school in less than a month.
“I am here first and foremost for their children. Our purpose is about children first and once we get that clear to all the adults, I anticipate they'll be able to feel it, taste it, smell it when they walk into their schools,” Carstarphen said.
Carstarphen said she's very aware of the challenges APS has recently faced.
She said building strong communication is key to making sure the district stays on the right path.