New York City Department of Education
Cheryl Watson-Harris

New York City administrator tapped to be next superintendent of DeKalb County (Ga.) district

June 5, 2020
Cheryl Watson-Harris, first deputy chancellor for the New York City Department of Education, is the sole finalist to lead the Atlanta-area district.

A top administrator in the New York City school system has been named the sole finalist for superintendent in the 99,000-student DeKalb County (Ga.) district.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Cheryl Watson-Harris, first deputy chancellor for the New York City Department of Education, is in line to become leader of Georgia's third largest district.

The selection of Watson-Harris comes just weeks after the DeKalb school board chose, then abruptly rejected, former New York City Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew as its next superintendent.

Watson-Harris began her teaching career in New York in 1993. She worked for more than 15 years in Boston as a principal and network superintendent, then returned to New York in 2015.

“Throughout my career as an education leader, I have made it my priority to ensure every child has access to high-quality education and is prepared for successful citizenship in our fast-paced 21st century global community,” Watson-Harris says. “I believe the public school system is the heart and soul of our country. I am confident my experience in district restructuring and the equitable allocation of resources, as well as my achievements in improving school performance, can help DeKalb Schools continue to move in the right direction.”

She would replace Ramona Tyson, who has said she intends to retire at the end of the month.

State regulations require a 14-day waiting period before the district can officially offer Watson-Harris a contract.

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