DeKalb County

Board of education fires DeKalb County Schools superintendent; names interim

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County School Board has fired Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris. The move came during a virtually-called meeting Tuesday.

The firing was effective immediately. Board members voted to name Dr. Vasanne Tinsley as the interim superintendent.

“We appreciate Mrs. Cheryl Watson-Harris for her service to the DeKalb County School District and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” board chair Vickie B. Turner said. “The board has the utmost confidence in Dr. Tinsley serving as the interim superintendent. The immediate departure of Mrs. Watson-Harris will have no bearing on the search for the next superintendent. The board remains fully committed to an open and transparent process and supporting the students of DCSD.”

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In a news release, the district did not give a reason as to why the board decided to fire Watson-Harris but said their relationship with her had “been deteriorating for some time to the point the association became irreconcilable.”

The district added they had confidence that Tinsley could step in without any problems.

“Tinsley brings a wealth of experience to DCSD, formerly serving as the deputy superintendent of student support and intervention in the district,” the district said.

Watson-Harris was named superintendent for DeKalb Schools in June 2020.

Before being hired in DeKalb County, Watson-Harris served as first deputy chancellor, senior director of field support and Brooklyn executive director for the New York City Department of Education.

Dr. Tinsley first joined the DeKalb County School District in 1994. She served as a school counselor and ultimately as Deputy Superintendent of Student Support and Intervention until she retired in 2020.

The Board says they are beginning a formal search for a permanent superintendent.

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